Amar’e Stoudemire – Memphis
The Florida native had committed to John Calipari and the Memphis Tigers for the 2002-03 season. But Stoudemire would later de-commit and immediately chase his dream to play in the NBA. Had Amar’e spent a year in Memphis, he would have been in the same recruiting class as enforcing big-man Rodney Carney. He’d have been a star on an otherwise mediocre team that was upset in the first round of the NCAA Tournament as a 7-seed.
The Suns selected Stoudemire ninth overall in the 2002 NBA Draft; he was the only high school player to be chosen in the first round that year.
The gamble paid off as Amar’e was named NBA Rookie of the Year. He has averaged 21.8 point per game and 8.8 rebounds per game in his ten seasons.