Mauldin (Greenville County)
Professional (NBA) basketball player – Power forward
(May 19, 1976)
Kevin Garnett was born in Greenville to Shirley Garnett and O’Lewis McCullough (who his mother never married). Shirley later married and divorced Ernest Irby. Garnett has two sisters, one older (by six years) one younger: Sonya and Ashley, respectively. His half-brother, Louis McCullough, played basketball for the ABA’s Syracuse Raging Bullz.
Garnett, or “KG” to his fans, is notable for his rise to stardom emerging as a high school pro draftee – first with the Mauldin High School Maverick and, then with the Farragut Career Academy Admiral (named after Civil War naval hero Admiral David Glasgow Farragut) in Chicago – to a star player with the storied Boston Celtics basketball team’s as part of “Big Three” combo of Paul Pierce (forward), and Dalzell, South Carolina native Ray Allen (guard) who in 1993 led the Hillcrest High School Wildcats’ varsity basketball team to a SC State Championship. Together the three won the 2008 NBA Championship with KG scoring 26 points and 14 rebounds in Game 6 to claim his first title in his first season in Boston.
He joined the Celtics on 07/31/07. At the time of the trade, he had the longest current tenure of any player in the NBA with one team, having played for the Minnesota Timberwolves for his first 12 seasons (a total of 927 games). Following his trade to the Celtics, Garnett led them to the best record in the league and a trip to the 2008 NBA Finals. Along the way he picked up the 2008 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award – the only major award a Celtic player had not claimed since the franchise’s foundation in 1946. And, to top it off, he was the NBA’s top-paid player in the 2007-08 season with a salary of $23,751,934 – along with earning $5 million more hawking Adidas, Snickers and Gatorade.
Garnett credits his mother, a Jehovah’s Witness, for being his career “inspiration,” and for his familial stability growing up in both the mostly black section of Greenville known as Nickeltown and later on Basswood Drive in Mauldin (a suburb of Greenville with a population of about 12,000 in western SC). Shirley Garnett looked after Sonya, Kevin, and Ashley on her own while working two jobs – one at a local plant and another as a hair stylist. McCullough married another woman, started a new family, and paid child support. Continue reading