Brooklyn native Lance Stephenson stands alongside the likes of Stephon Marbury as one of the best players to ever come out of the five boroughs. Lance earned the nickname “Born Ready” with an NBA body even as a rising high school sophomore, when he first held his own against NBA vets and top-level college players at the iconic Rucker Park. With competition like that at such a young age, Stephenson’s high school career became the stuff of legend: he led Lincoln High to an unprecedented four straight PSAL Class AA Championships.
After one year at the University of Cincinnati, Lance was drafted by the Indiana Pacers in the 2010 NBA Draft, but last season made him a star and one of the league’s premier all-around threats. He led the league with a ridiculous five triple doubles, and only one other player averaged at least 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. The kid who came into the league used to playing bully ball now makes the most of his energy, versatility, defense and court vision.
All of which makes him perfect for AND1. Streetball and the grassroots game are his story—hard work is in his DNA. And now, it’s paying off: over the summer Lance signed a three-year deal with the Charlotte Hornets. Just like in Indy, he’ll be the engine running his team.
We’ll be supporting him every step of the way.
Isaiah Canaan is perfect blend of everything AND1 has ever been. On the one hand, he could’ve been on every AND1 mixtape we ever put out. Our boy’s got moves on top of moves on top of moves, and the silky jumper so we can keep the camera rolling even after he rises up.
On the other hand, Isaiah is an underdog story proving that hard work pays off. At just six feet tall—maybe a little less back then—Canaan didn’t get on the major college radar until after he led Biloxi High to the Mississippi 5A State Championship as a senior. By then, he had already chosen Murray State, who had been in on him since the jump. Isaiah became among the most decorated players in Racers history: a 2nd Team All-American, a two-time Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year, and a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award and the Oscar Robertson Award.
The Houston Rockets selected Canaan in the 2013 NBA Draft, and he ripped up the D-League, dropping 22, 8 and 4. This year, he’ll get the chance to show off his dazzling offensive skills alongside Dwight Howard and James Harden. Who knows, maybe we’ll make a mixtape out of it.
Jamaal Franklin is as perfect for the grit-n-grind Grizzlies as he is for AND1. Jamaal didn’t just star for the San Diego State Aztecs—he did everything for them. As a junior, he led the team in points, rebounds, assists (hold on, we need a breath), steals, and minutes per game, and was second in blocks. He brought that versatility to the D-League, dropping 16, 6 and 4 in 28 minutes per game.
How does he get those numbers? Simple: his motor never stops running. Jamaal isn’t afraid to get on the deck, chase down a loose ball, or do all the little things a championship team needs. And he’s on our team because that’s the attitude we’re all about.
A SoCal product through and through, Franklin came up at Serrano High School outside Los Angeles, but turned down a full ride from local Long Beach State in favor of a move south to San Diego. The Grizzlies chose him in the 2013 NBA Draft, and his athleticism and competitive fire mean he won’t be at the bottom of the depth chart for long. Anyone keeping an eye on the box scores knows Jamaal is making a bigger impact every game.
Only thing is, with Jamaal, you can never just go by the box score.
This is the godfather. The man who made Skip to My Lou into a thing. The one who made you rethink what basketball could be.
As a star point guard at Cardozo High School in Queens, New York, Rafer was really making a name somewhere else: Rucker Park. You know how he did it – Rafer only had two modes: embarrass, and humiliate – but while he was a star on the streetball circuit, he didn’t seem destined for the NBA, playing for a pair of community colleges before finally landing at Fresno State in 1997. It wasn’t until ‘99 that Ron Naclerio, Alston’s coach at Cardozo, began circling a grainy streetball video, starring mostly Rafer. AND1 got hold of it, and it became the first mixtape.
Alston’s star soon took off. By 2004 he was a full-fledged starter for the Miami Heat, part of an 11-year career that much, much like his dribble moves, no one could have predicted. Today he’s an ambassador for the brand he helped build, and the game he changed.