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The Five Days of List-Mas: NBA Players from Arizona

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Whether you’re putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you’re making that special list for Santa, there’s nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we’re bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!

Today: The five best NBA players ever to come out of Arizona.

Demarquise Johnson, Calaen Robinson and Larry Lewis are all standout basketball recruits who are headed to D-I colleges — and possibly beyond. Arizona has a long history of sending top high school players to the NBA. But who’s been the best? Here’s our list of the five best players from the Grand Canyon State to play in the NBA.

5. Jerryd Bayless

Credentials: The 2007-08 St. Mary’s grad was drafted in 2009 with the No. 11 overall pick by the Indiana Pacers. Now with Toronto, Bayless is averaging 7.6 points per game over his career but is expected to become a regular contributor this season.

4. Channing Frye

Credentials: The 2000-01 St. Mary’s grad was drafted in 2005 with the No. 8 overall pick by the New York Knicks. The six-year NBA vet has averaged 9.5 points per game over his career, with his career-high of 12.7 ppg coming last year with the Phoenix Suns.

3. Richard Jefferson

Credentials: The 1998 graduate of Moon Valley was picked by the Houston Rockets with the No. 13 overall pick in 2001. Over the course of 10 seasons, Jefferson has scored 11,999 points, good for an average of 16.4 points per game.

2. Sean Elliott

Credentials: The 1985 graduate of Cholla went to Arizona and is currently the school’s All-Time leading scorer. Drafted in the first round of the NBA draft by the San Antonio Spurs, he won an NBA title in 1999 and was a two-time All-Star.

1. Mike Bibby

Credentials: A 1996 graduate of Shadow Mountain, Bibby led Arizona to a national title in 1997 and entered the NBA Draft in 1998. The No. 2 overall pick has a career average of 15.2 points and 5.7 assists per game, has reached the playoffs nine times and is currently sixth in assists among active NBA players.

Tomorrow: Wild Card! Check back tomorrow to find out what our list is.