Rare pro success for Yakima area basketball players | professional sports

Although MarJon Beauchamp is on track to become the only first-round pick in the NBA draft in the Yakima area, he has produced three other players who have at least caught the eye of basketball’s top league. country professional.

Yakima High graduate Ralph Bishop rose to prominence long before the NBA existed, when most elite players competed on the AAU amateur circuit. Hall of Famer Yakima Valley College averaged 15 points in a junior college season before moving to the University of Washington, where he earned All-American honors as a senior before heading to Berlin as the only collegiate athlete on the winning gold medal. United States team at the 1936 Olympics.

Bishop played four seasons of AAU basketball, winning a national championship with Denver’s Safeway Stores in 1938 before retiring and later serving in the United States Navy during World War II. He returned to basketball to coach the Denver Nuggets AAU team in 1947, then played briefly when the Nuggets moved to the National Basketball League in 1948, a year before joining the NBA for its inaugural season. .

The Chicago Bulls selected Kittitas High and Columbia Basin College graduate Byron Beck in the second round of the 1967 NBA Draft and he finished his career with the league’s Denver Nuggets for the 1976-77 season. But the 6-foot-9 forward/center never played for the Bulls and became the first Denver player to have his jersey number thanks to his success in the American Basketball Association, where he made two teams All-Star and compiled most of his 8,603 points and 5,600 rebounds.

The Washington Bullets drafted David Reavis with the 83rd overall pick in 1977, a year after he helped lead Yakima Valley Community College to an NWAACC championship, scoring 30 points in the final two games of the tournament. As a freshman, he earned NWAACC Region III MVP honors and became Georgia’s leading scorer in his senior college season, but Reavis never played in an NBA game.

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