Team Member Information
JULY 2010 - AL JEFFERSON TRADED TO UTAH JAZZ
Albus Jefferson was born January 4, 1985 in Monticello, Mississippi. Al Jefferson attended Prentiss High School in Prentiss, Mississippi where he was a basketball superstar. As a senior, he averaged 42 points, 16 rebounds and 9 blocks per game. He was named to the 2004 McDonald's All-American team and originally committed to the University of Arkansas, but decided to skip college for the NBA Draft. Al Jefferson was drafted as the 15th overall pick by the Boston Celtics in the 2004 NBA Draft, becoming the first high school player to be drafted by the Celtics.
As a rookie Boston Celtic, Al Jefferson or “Big Al” as his teammates call him was plagued by ankle injuries which limited his game time. He ended his rookie season with a disappointing average of 6.7 points and 4.4 rebounds in 14.8 minutes per game. His second season was not as spectacular as Celtics fans had hoped for either as he averaged a mere 7.9 points and 5.1 rebounds in 18.0 minutes per game.
In the off-season prior to his third NBA season, Jefferson hired a personal chef and got serious about his body when he lost about 30 pounds. Despite his healthy efforts, his ankles began to bother him and after experiencing lingering pain after participating in the Las Vegas Summer League, a CAT scan revealed bone spurs. On August 2, 2006, he underwent ankle surgery to remove the spurs. Further medical hurdles followed when on November 8, 2006 prior to the fourth game of the season, Al Jefferson had appendectomy surgery that forced him to miss seven more games.
Injuries plagued Al Jefferson’s teammate and Boston Celtics starting center Kendrick Perkins as well as other Celtics players in the 2006 – 2007 NBA season and Al Jefferson saw increased playing time and the opportunity to start several games. As a starter, Jefferson averaged 16.3 points and 11.1 rebounds in 33.7 minutes per game.
In what some considered a breakout performance against the New Jersey Nets on December 9, 2006, Al Jefferson scored a career-high 29 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. It was the second time he had scored more than 20 points in a game and his third and fourth 20-point game came six and seven days after the second, on December 15 and December 16, 2006, when he scored 28 against the Denver Nuggets and 22 against the Charlotte Bobcats. These efforts brought on a five-game winning streak by the Boston Celtics. Further continuing his success as an NBA starter, Al Jefferson scored a career high 32 points along with 18 rebounds against the New Jersey Nets on March 3, 2007. Al Jefferson finished the 2006-07 NBA season with averages of 16.0 points and 11.0 rebounds.
On July 31, 2007 it was made official that Al Jefferson was to be traded along with Gerald Green, Ryan Gomes, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair, and draft picks, to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Timberwolves star player Kevin Garnett.
Before starting for the Timberwolves, the power forward will be one of ten young NBA players on the USA Basketball Men's Select Team that has been chosen to help prepare the 2007 USA Senior National Team for the August 22 through September 3 FIBA Americas Championship that will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Big Al will be part of the team that will help prepare Kobe Bryant, Jason Kidd, and the rest of the national team for the upcoming Olympic qualifier.
If there was a centerpiece for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Kevin Garnett trade, it's certainly Al Jefferson. He has great instincts and he is a rare traditional low-post scorer. The 6-10 forward more than doubled both his scoring and rebounding output from his early days in the NBA and he has shown great improvement in the latter part of last season. In fact, Al Jefferson ranked 12th in the NBA in total rebounds with 756. He is a great big player that has potential to make a great big impact on the Minnesota Timberwolves. Buy your Timberwolves Tickets now and see Al Jefferson bring down those rebounds in true blue Minnesota style.
Al Jefferson has clearly established himself as top dog in Minnesota since the Kevin Garnett trade. Jefferson demands the ball in the low post in crunch time but it hasn’t been enough for the Timberwolves this season. Jefferson fills up the stat line nearly every night, including an explosive effort against the Phoenix Suns on December 8 that included 32 points and 20 rebounds. Through thirty games, Jefferson leads the team with 36.4 minutes, 20.4 points and 12.1 rebounds. He is also third on the team in steals with 1.1 and second on the team in blocks with 1.3. Jefferson should continue to shoulder the load as the season progresses.
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