Andre Iguodala, Guard-Forward , Philadelphia
Copywriter, J. Hagedorn | Photographer, K. Firkus
Basketball's Rising Star
At just 26 years old, Andre has earned some nice accolades in his basketball career. In 2003-2004 while in his sophomore year at the University of Arizona under Coach Lute Olson, Dre averaged 12.9 points, 8.4 boards and 4.9 assists per game. After that season with the Wildcats, Iguodala decided to turn pro, declaring for the 2004 NBA Draft.
Selected ninth overall in the first round of the 2004 NBA Draft by the 76ers, Iguodala was quick to make an impact. After logging a bunch of minutes and being extremely efficient in his first season, he was selected to the 2005 NBA All-Rookie Team, along with Ben Gordon, Emeka Okafor, Luol Deng and Dwight Howard. The following year at the 2006 All-Star Weekend break in Houston, Andre dominated the Rookie-Sophomore game with 30 points. He was named the MVP of that game, leading the Sophomores to a 106-96 victory in the Toyota Center. He also participated in the 2006 NBA Slam Dunk Competition, where he had some unbelievable dunks. Check out the video below. For Iguodala's dunks, check out the eight-second mark, at 56 seconds, 1:38, 2:37 and 3:34. It was a controversial ending, but most feel like Iguodala should have won.
After averaging a career high 19.9 points per game in the 2007-2008 season, Andre signed a six-year, $80 million deal with Sixers in August of 2008, ensuring his future in Philadelphia. It showed that the 76ers were committed to building around their exciting franchise player.
Iguodala's game on the court includes some solid defense and crowd-pleasing acrobatic dunks, but possibly the best thing about him is his ability to stay healthy. In his six seasons in the NBA, he's only missed six games. He has also played an average of 38 minutes per game in his career, which just shows how consistent he is. Playing a strenuous 82-game season can be tough, but Andre clearly keeps himself in tip-top shape.
Last year Andre led the Sixers with 17.1 points per game and had career highs in rebounds (6.5) and assists (5.8) per game. He was chosen to play on Team USA by Coach K as the squad prepares for the 2012 Olympic Games. At the World Basketball Festival in New York City back in August, Andre won MVP honors at the Radio City Music Hall scrimmage. He is able to flourish on Team USA as he is surrounded by fellow NBA players Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose and Lamar Odom among others. In fact Iguodala and the USA team just beat Turkey to win the FIBA World Championships, which qualifies them for the 2012 games in London.
From an NBA standpoint, Dre welcomes new coach Doug Collins to the 76ers along with the exciting rookie Evan Turner. Turner was picked number two overall by Philadelphia in this past draft in June. The team is hoping Elton Brand can come back healthy, while there are a bunch of bright spots on the roster, including, Jrue Holiday, Jodie Meeks and Thaddeus Young to go with Lou Williams, who averaged 14 a game last year. With a bunch of USA Basketball experience under his belt, it seems that Dre will bring some new insight and knowledge back to the 76ers. Hopefully he can translate everything he has learned from some great basketball talents in order to re-energize the franchise in Philly.
Most people would say Andre Iguodala is already a basketball star, but his work ethic, mental toughness, immense talent and leadership qualities show that he is still on the rise. With the NBA season about a month away, Andre is preparing for another successful year. Look for big things from Andre this year and the rest of his career.
To keep up with Andre check out the links below.
Andre Iguodala Twitter
Official Website of Andre Iguodala
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