Video: NBA MVP Finalists Way Back WhenSoCal schools produced James Harden, Kawhi Leonard and Russell Westbrook.
One thing is for sure heading into Monday's 2017 NBA Awards show in New York: Southern California is going to produce the league's MVP.
TNT will broadcast the first-time event at 9 p.m. EST. Fans can cast votes here
Finalists James Harden of the Houston Rockets, Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder are all products of Los Angeles-area high schools.
Harden (29.1 points, 11.2 assists and 8.1 rebounds per game in 2016-17) is a 2009 graduate of Artesia (Lakewood)
, where he won state titles as a junior and senior before moving on to Arizona State.
Leonard (25.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists per game) is a 2011 graduate of
and didn't garner superstar acclaim until his sophomore campaign at San Diego State.
Westbrook (31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, 10.4 assists per game) is a 2008 product of Leuzinger (Lawndale)
, where he saw his stock rise after a big senior year. UCLA grabbed him late in the recruiting process and he blossomed into a star as a sophomore.
SoCal's place in the MVP race is not a huge surprise. As we wrote earlier this week, the Golden State has produced 29 NBA Draft first round draft picks over the last decade
– a dozen more than second-place Texas with 17.