Former NBA player boasts his $10,000-NBA ring to students


adrian-branchA former pro basketball player told Gaston County students to choose their friends wisely, Gaston Gazette reported.

Adrian Branch, who played for the Los Angeles Lakers when the team won its 1987 NBA championship, made a stop at Hunter Huss High School.

Branch now works as an on-air analyst for ESPN, but told stories of his days on the court to 1,100 students in the school auditorium.

He talked about making good decisions and urged students not to bully other kids. For the past few weeks, Branch has shown up at all of Gaston’s public middle and high schools.

As Branch walked the aisles of the school auditorium, student eyes fixed on his NBA championship ring. He asked if anyone wanted to try on the $10,000 symbol of his NBA success.

Branch played four NBA seasons in the late 1980s for the Lakers, New Jersey Nets, Portland Trail Blazers and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Branch averaged career high 7.4 ppg for Portland in 1988-1989. He appeared in total of 130 NBA games (7 started), averaging 6.4 ppg in 11 mpg.

He shared a few memories about a state to which students can relate: being the odd man out. He remembers driving his Volkswagen into the parking lot he shared with Lakers teammates.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar parked a Rolls-Royce next to him. Gastonia native James Worthy parked his BMW sedan nearby, Branch told the students.

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