Most teenagers have a hard enough time fitting in during their high school years. Try fitting in at six high schools.
Amar'e Stoudemire has faced a long and winding road to his current position with the New York Knicks, and it began long before he left Cypress Creek High School (Orlando, Fla.)
to make the jump directly to the NBA.
Stoudemire attended six different high schools, and due to all of the transfers he was forced to miss his entire junior basketball season. He more than made up for it in his senior campaign at Cypress Creek, when the 6-foot-11 manchild averaged 29 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks. He was named Florida Mr. Basketball and the Orlando Sentinel Player of the Year, and he played in the McDonald's All-American Game.
Even with his production and recognition Stoudemire was somewhat of an enigma entering the 2002 draft, and the Phoenix Suns happily snatched him up when he fell to No. 9.
Stoudemire immediately made teams regret passing him up by averaging 13.5 points and 8.8 rebounds en route to becoming the first player to win Rookie of the Year after entering the league straight out of high school.
The 6-time All-Star blossomed into one of the league's best forwards with the Suns before signing a big contract to become the new face of the New York Knicks. Of course that all changed with the arrival of Carmelo Anthony, but with the Knicks sitting at 25-14 (second in the Eastern Conference), Stoudemire is probably not complaining.
Stoudemire, Anthony and the Knicks take on the Boston Celtics tonight in the first game of TNT's doubleheader.
In limited minutes due to injury, Stoudemire is starting to get back to his old self, averaging nearly 15 points over his last three games. It will be interesting to see how he jells with Carmelo as the season progresses.
Take a look at Stoudemire in high school in the Way Back When clip below.