Former Bellarmine Prep of Tacoma star Avery Bradley of the Boston Celtics was named to the NBA’s all-defense first team Wednesday. His vote total was third behind the Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard and the Warriors’ Draymond Green. DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul, both of the Clippers, round out the first team.
Bradley, 25, was a three-year starter at Bellarmine before transferring his senior year to Findlay Prep. He teamed with Abdul Gaddy, who became a starter at the University of Washington, to take Bellarmine to the state 4A semifinals as a junior.
He also played AAU ball with Curtis High School’s Isaiah Thomas, who went on to star at UW and is now his Celtics teammate and an All-Star. Thomas and Bradley were 1-2 in Celtics scoring this season.
Bradley played a year at the University of Texas before declaring for the draft and was taken 19th in 2010′s first round by the Celtics.
Bradley, the top finisher among guards in defensive player of the year voting (sixth place overall), averaged a career-high 1.54 steals. The Celtics won 48 regular-season games and were seeded fifth in the Eastern Conference playoffs, where they lost to Atlanta 4-2 in large part because Bradley strained a hamstring in game one and didn’t play the rest of the series.
Voters were writers and broadcasters who cover the NBA in the U.S. and Canada.