1995–96 Lower Merion Aces men's basketball team
|1995–96 Lower Merion Aces men's basketball|
Pennsylvania State Champion
PIAA Division AAAA Tournament, Champion
|1995–96 record||31–3 ( )|
|Head coach||Gregg Downer|
|Home arena||Lower Merion High School|
The most memorable member of this team was senior guard Kobe Bryant. Bryant, the future NBA MVP and Champion would find himself Pennsylvania Mr. Basketball, Naismith High School Player of the Year, and a McDonald's All-American. As team leader of the Aces, he would lead them from their 4-20 Record three years prior to their first state championship in 53 years.
Bryant, who averaged 30.8 points per game, 12 rebounds per game, 6.5 assists per game, 4 steals per game, and 3.8 blocks per game was recruited heavily by big colleges throughout the nation, most notably Duke and North Carolina. Also considered were Villanova and Michigan. However, after seeing Kevin Garnett be selected in the first round of the draft in 1995, Bryant shifted to wanting to go into the NBA straight out of high school. After his senior year, Bryant officially decided to go prep to pro and was selected 13th overall by the Charlotte Hornets in the 1995 NBA draft, and was shortly thereafter traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, whom he would play for until his retirement from basketball in 2016.
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