Former Rockford Lightning Players On Special All-Time Hoops List
Two former players for the Rockford Lightning made it on a special all-time basketball list.
I enjoyed going to Rockford Lightning games.
Unfortunately, the team went away.
If you want to quick flashback of the history of the team, check out this interview I did with their former coach, Chris Daleo.
Video: Rockford Lightning Basketball History Lesson
There were some great players that came through the Forest City. Some even made it to the NBA.
Speaking of the Rockford Lightning and former players, a friend of mine' who used to live here, sent me this interesting story. It featured some familiar names.
"The 30 greatest basketball players to never play in the NBA."
At number 19...
Accolades: 2000 Adidas ABCD MVP
There was actually a player ranked higher than LeBron James in high school: Lenny Cooke. A year older than James, Cooke was a 6'6" man-child who could do no wrong on the basketball court. All that changed one fateful day at the 2001 ABCD camp. Lenny's team beat Carmelo's squad to set up a showdown between him and James. With LeBron's team down by 2, King James hit a game-winning 3-pointer in Cooke's mouth to win the game. LeBron outscored Lenny 24-9. That was the day Cooke started to head in the wrong direction. He lost confidence, took advice from the wrong people, put on a lot of weight, and the rest is history.
"He was really my hero because the way he could dominate a game was unbelievable to me," said his former teammate Joakim Noah.
At number 13...
Accolades: 3x Parade All-American, Consensus First Team All-American (Parade, USA Today, McDonald's), Third All-Time leading scorer in Chicago Public League history (2,619)
The 6'3" guard played high school ball with Kevin Garnett at Farragut Academy and was a legend in the playgrounds of Chicago. Ronnie could jump out of the gym with his 50" vertical. He averaged 34 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, four steals, and four blocks a game in high school—no, that's not a typo. The Big Ticket once said that Ronnie was better than him, but Fields never got a chance to prove his teammate right. He broke his neck in a car accident during his senior year and when he finally healed, he couldn't get into a DI school because of his grades—the same reason KG skipped college.
I got to watch both of them play at the Metrocentre. Lenny Cooke was too far gone by the time he got here. Ronnie Fields was exciting to watch. I would say he's the best Lightning player of all-time.
Did you ever check out their games?
Video: Classic Rock Smackdown - How Well do You Know Wing Flavors?