Brandon Roy, known around basketball circles simply as “B Roy,” was born on July 23rd, 1984 in Seattle, Washington. He grew up in Seattle spending his free time on the basketball court and emulating his favorite player, Michael Jordan. A standout since early childhood, Brandon really started turning heads when he stepped on the court for Garfield High School.
Brandon was one of the best all-around players in Washington, and his efforts on the court were recognized instantly. He won MVP of the KingCo Conference in both his junior and senior seasons. During his senior year, Brandon started receiving national attention with averages of 22.3 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. In his final high school game, he scored a career high of 38 points to narrowly lead his team to a 71-70 victory and the Class 4A state tournament 4th place trophy. Brandon quickly became a consensus top 50 player in America and was forced to decide between college basketball and the NBA.
Brandon entered his name in the 2002 NBA draft; however, he didn’t attend any pre-draft camps and eventually withdrew his name from the list. He instead decided to attend the University of Washington. Happy to be playing close to home, Roy began a stellar collegiate career as a Husky during the 2002-2003 season. During his sophomore campaign, Roy played a prominent role on the team when he led the squad in rebounding. He was also second in points, steals, and assists. More importantly, he helped lead the team to its best conference finish (2nd) since 1986, and its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1999.
A meniscus tear in his right knee forced Brandon to the bench his junior year. However, after a strong recovery, B Roy returned to the lineup the next year to lead his team to a Pac-10 Conference Tournament Championship, a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament, and a trip to the Sweet 16. Brandon strongly contemplated entering the NBA Draft again after his junior season but elected to return to UW to finish his education and to play one more season under coach Lorenzo Romar. “At the end of my junior year I felt like I was ready to take my game to the NBA, but there was still more I needed to show,” Brandon said.
B Roy did indeed prove he was one of the nation’s elite talents during his stellar senior season by ranking in the top 10 of the PAC-10 in 13 statistical categories, including leading the conference in scoring at 22 points per game. Those numbers were good enough to declare Brandon the Pac-10 Player of the Year, as well as a first team All-American. “After my senior year I felt like everything was complete. I was a first team All-American, I was PAC-10 Player of the Year – I really answered a lot of questions about my ability to lead a team. I thought at the end of this year I was finally ready to be a pro,” Brandon said before draft day.
After his historic senior year, B Roy brought his talents to the NBA Draft. Recalling his memories from draft night Brandon admitted, “Draft night was incredible. I was extremely excited – I think I hid it pretty well. I kept reminding myself: ‘B, you’ve done all you can do at this point. You have no regrets.’” He was selected with the 6th overall pick in the draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, only to be traded just minutes later to the Portland Trailblazers. When asked about being dealt to the Blazers, Roy responded, “I was excited – that’s what I wanted to happen. I feel like with me, LaMarcus, and the rest of the young guys we have, they are putting a lot of faith in the youth. I’m pretty excited – I was happy when they finally said I was traded and it was done. I took my Minnesota hat off, thrilled to be with Portland.”
After an extremely successful summer league, B Roy was experts’ pick for Rookie of the Year. Roy’s rookie year did not disappoint as he was the run-away selection for Rookie of the Year, receiving 127 of the 128 first place votes. He averaged rookie highs of 16.8 points, 4.0 assists and 35.4 minutes in 57 games. Brandon carried that momentum into his second season where he averaged 19.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 5.8 assists in 74 games. He was selected to the 2008 NBA All-Star Game, where he led the Western Conference in minutes and tied for the most points in the West, scoring 18.
In his third season, Roy was named to the All-NBA second team while leading the Blazers in points (22.6), assists (5.1) and steals (1.13). His stellar play helped earn the Blazers their first playoff appearance since 2003. The Blazers lost their first-round series with the Houston Rockets, but Roy averaged 22.6 points per game, including a 42-point performance in Portland’s game two win. Heading into his fourth year, Roy is looking forward to working with a growing team capable of competing with the best in the west.
In Brandon’s fourth year he once again put up impressive numbers despite a number of injuries that plagued him through the season. Brandon played 65 games averaging 4.7 assists and 21.5 points per game. However, on the 11th of April Brandon tore a meniscus in his right knee early in the victory over the Lakers on the 15th he had surgery to repair the damage. Despite Brandon’s late absence, the Blazers rallied to finish at 50–32, and finished 6th in the West. Brandon returned in time for game 4 of the playoffs, but the Blazers still fell in the first round 4-2 to the Phoenix Suns.
In the 2010-2011 season Brandon continued to struggle with injuries. The three-time All-Star underwent double-arthroscopic surgery on January 17, 2011 to repair both of his knees. Despite the surgery, Brandon still managed to play in 47 games and averaged 12.2 points per game. The Blazers made the playoffs once again, but fell in six games to the eventual NBA champion, the Dallas Mavericks.
Plagued by injuries the past couple years, Brandon is staying positive in hopes of getting back to his best form and leading the Blazers towards an NBA championship.