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Westchester High School honored some of their own this past Saturday afternoon. As many alumni returned for a celebrity basketball game, Gabe Pruitt, Amir Johnson and Hassan Adams were honored by having their numbers retired.
Former Westchester players Jason Hart, Billy Knight, Tony Bland, David Bluthenthal, Chad Bell, Ashanti Cook, Brandon Health, Brandon Bowman, Keith Everage, Trevor Ariza, Bobby Brown and Scott Cutley all returned to celebrate their former teammates accomplishments.
Pruitt was all smiles as he returned as an NBA champion. Pruitt played a back up role as a point guard during his rookie season in the NBA. He spent most of the season playing for the Celtics’ D-League affiliate, the Utah Flash, where he gained valuable experience.
Pruitt, who was selected with the 32nd overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, was a stand out point guard along side Nick Young at USC. Pruitt and Young led the Trojans to the Sweet 16 in 2007.
While at Westchester Pruitt averaged 22 points his senior year and was named to the first teams of the Los Angeles Times All-City, South Bay/Westside, and the South Bay Daily Breeze teams. The Daily Breeze named Pruitt the player of the year. He was named the No. 20 prep player in the country by Basketball Times.
Johnson is the last high school player drafted by an NBA team. The Detroit Pistons selected Johnson with the 56th pick in the 2005 NBA Draft after he led Westchester to the State title. Johnson had committed to the University of Louisville, but decided to take his talents to the NBA instead.
After playing in the D-League with the Fayetteville Patriots for most of the 2006 season, Johnson was recalled by the Pistons, and he proved his worth, scoring 18 points against the Milwaukee Bucks, making all six of his field goal attempts, both 3-point attempts, and all four of his free throw attempts.
Johnson will be calling Detroit home for the next few years. He signed a three year, $11 million contract with the team last July.
Adams, who led Westchester to the State title in 2002, played his college ball at the University of Arizona. After averaging 17.5 points per game his senior season, he was selected with the 54th overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets.
Adams played a season with the Nets before signing with the Italian basketball team Basket Draghi Novara.
Previous players to have their numbers retired are Sam Williams, class of ‘77, and Trevor Ariza, class of ‘03.
The event was sponsored by Parents of Westchester with Orville Wright, which is a parent group that volunteers on the campuses of Westchester and Orville Wright Middle School.