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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

LaMarcus Aldridge

LaMarcus Aldridge #12 Alternate Back
LaMarcus Aldridge by evanilson3

LaMarcus Nurae Aldridge (born July 19, 1985, in Dallas, Texas) is an American professional basketball player with the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers. He is a 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) power forward–center.

LaMarcus Aldridge #12 Alternate Front
LaMarcus Aldridge by evanilson3

Playing career

Aldridge attended Seagoville High School, where he became a Parade All-American and Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) Class 4A Player of the Year prior to graduating in 2004 and attending the University of Texas at Austin. He declared for the 2004 NBA Draft but ultimately withdrew his name.

According to one report, Aldridge's initial decision to attend college rather than entering the pro ranks directly from high school was influenced by Shaquille O'Neal's personal advice that he should go to college and then evaluate his NBA prospects. However, in April 2006, near the end of his second year at UT, Aldridge announced that he would leave college to enter the 2006 NBA Draft.

LaMarcus Aldridge #12 Alternate_03
LaMarcus Aldridge by evanilson3

Rookie season

Aldridge missed the first seven games of the 2006–07 NBA season due to off-season shoulder surgery, but returned ahead of schedule due in part to an injury to fellow rookie teammate Brandon Roy. Aldridge made an immediate impact on offense, averaging 8.4 points on 54% shooting from the field through his first 14 games. After the loss of starting center Joel Przybilla in February 2007 to season-ending knee surgery, Aldridge was awarded the starting center position and improved his scoring to 14.7 points alongside 8.0 rebounds per game in the month of March.

This placed him second in the voting for the Western Conference Rookie of the Month to Roy. On March 31, 2007, in the first quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers, Aldridge was taken to Providence Hospital in Portland for shortness of breath and irregular heartbeat. He was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome on April 9, 2007, and missed the remaining eight games of the 2006–07 season.

Aldridge was one of six players named to the 2007 NBA All-Rookie first team; he tied for fifth place along with Toronto Raptors player Jorge Garbajosa.

LaMarcus Aldridge headband
LaMarcus Aldridge by theBlowtorch

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