Felipe López (basketball)
|Born||December 19, 1974|
Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic
|Listed height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Listed weight||215 lb (98 kg)|
|High school||Rice (New York City, New York)|
|College||St. John's (1994–1998)|
|NBA draft||1998 / Round: 1 / Pick: 24th overall|
|Selected by the San Antonio Spurs|
|Career highlights and awards|
He starred in United States high school and college basketball. López then played for four seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA), but with far less success. He has since played for teams in a half dozen countries, as well as in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) in the U.S. Most recently, he has been a broadcaster with Spanish-language networks.
Early life and high school career
Felipe's father, who played amateur baseball in the Dominican Republic, and his family immigrated to the U.S. when he was 14. López played high school basketball at Rice High School in New York City, where he followed New York high school players Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Lew Alcindor) and Dean Meminger in becoming one of the most highly touted recruits in U.S. high school history. The 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) guard made many All-American lists in 1994, earning Player of the Year honors from Gatorade, USA Today, Parade, and many others.
High expectations hounded López from the start, beginning with an appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated before he had played his first college game. He also appeared with Jim Brown and Jackie Joyner-Kersee at a conference along with then-President Bill Clinton.
Though he never quite lived up to the hype and expectations heaped upon him by the fans and media, López finished his freshman season for the newly named St. John's Red Storm by averaging 17.8 points per game, earning a spot on the All-Big East Rookie Team and All-Big East Third Team in the process. And, though his numbers dipped slightly the next two years, bottoming out at 15.9 ppg as a junior, as a senior he averaged 17.6 ppg and garnered All-Big East First Team honors. He finished his career with 1,927 points, placing him fourth all-time in St. John's history behind former players Chris Mullin, Malik Sealy, and D'Angelo Harrison and sixth in Big East history with 1,222 conference points, while also ranking seventh all time in steals, 14th in assists, and 20th in rebounds. He also holds the St. John's record for most three-pointers made in a single season (60) and in a career (148).
López was selected by the San Antonio Spurs with the 24th pick in the 1998 NBA draft and was immediately traded, along with Carl Herrera, to the Vancouver Grizzlies for point guard Antonio Daniels. López's drafting into the NBA was cause for great celebration in the heavily Dominican community of Washington Heights in New York City. He played 112 games for the Grizzlies before being traded to the Washington Wizards along with Dennis Scott, Cherokee Parks, and Obinna Ekezie in exchange for free agent Isaac Austin on August 22, 2000. López went on to sign as a free agent with both the Minnesota Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks, although he never played a regular season game for the Mavs. He trained with the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Clippers in the first months of the 2005–06 NBA season before signing a contract with Lleida.
- Sports Illustrated story[dead link]
- "Clinton Needles Sports World For Not Hiring Minorities". CNN. April 15, 1998.
- San Martin, Pablo (January 12, 2006). "El Plus Pujol Lleida se refuerza con Luis Felipe López" (in Spanish). Retrieved July 15, 2006.
- Webeck, Evan (August 15, 2014). "Former St. John's star Felipe Lopez gives back in retirement". SI.com. Retrieved April 28, 2019.