Most people outside of the state of Illinois have never heard of one of the greatest basketball talents of all time. I myself had never heard of Kevin Garnet's high school teammate, Ronnie Fields, until I saw a few youtube highlights of him. The man's high school numbers are staggering and his vertical was literally off the charts. He was pegged as the next Michael Jordan, but what happened to him?
Here is one of the videos of Fields destroying upper echelon high school competition. It's four minutes long, but you'll be glad you watched the whole clip.
The reason Fields never made it to the NBA and into basketball lore was because of a car accident in his last year of high school in which he broke his neck. Although he made it back onto the courts, he was never the same fearless player who could get to the rim at will. NBA teams quickly lost interest, and he was academically ineligible to play college basketball. He decided to play ball overseas, and in his career, he has played on a slew of teams from around the world.
In a very competitive high school division, fields averaged 34 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, and 4 blocks per game. He was the complete package on both sides of the floor, and he was known for his ferocity and freakish athletic ability. Despite never making the NBA, he currently still plays overseas and has played in teams spanning multiple continents. Currently, he is looking to play in Puerto Rico in the upcoming season.
He says he has no regrets, and has become more spiritual since the injury. I suppose finding God would be a good thing, considering Fields could have been a household name had he not been in that fateful car crash. SLAM Magazine has a nice piece on Fields if you want to learn more.