Ronald Shavlik Randolph is a professional American basketball player who plays as a Power Forward. Named after his grandfather, Ronnie Shavlik, a former NBA player and All American, Randolph’s love for the game was quite evident from the younger days when he would be a ball boy at all University of North Carolina games. Randolph went to the Broughton High School where he broke the single-game school record by scoring 70 points in a game.
Randolph also went on to become the all-time leader for the college in points, rebounds and blocks. As the years went by, he kept improving his game till the point where he was averaging 30 points per game in his senior year with 14 rebounds and 5 blocks per game. His performances ensured that he was named to the All-American lineup twice and was also named as the Associated Press North Carolina Player of the Year, twice again.
Although he was considered the best high school basketball player in the country after his Junior year, his ranking dropped to 13 post his final season.
Signing for college was a huge deal with Randolph and amongst many of the top schools, University of North Carolina, University of Florida, Duke and North Carolina State University were trying really hard to get his signature. Matt Doherty, coach of the University of North Carolina team, sent Randolph a picture of UNC legend Michael Jordan wearing a “Shav Country” shirt (made at Randolph’s high school). Billy Donovan, coach at the University of Florida, went a little extra by flying all the way down to his high school simply to wave at Randolph, from the parking lot, and then leave.
In the end, it was Duke University which succeeded in grabbing his signature although Randolph did consider skipping college and directly enter the NBA.
College started brilliantly for Randolph as he scored 23 points with 7 rebounds on his debut.
His second game saw his first double-double but that seemed to be the end of the good stuff. The decline in form was so bad that Randolph only scored in double figures five more times in the rest of the season. Injuries have been unkind to Randolph and his first year at Duke was no different, letting him play just 26 games with 6 starts. Randolph only averaged at 7.4 points per game with 3.9 rebounds in his freshman year.
In his second year at Duke, Randolph played all the games but his shooting fell to 7.0 per game with 4.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. He did raise his game towards the end of the season, as Duke reached the Final Four of the NCAA tournament. Randolph underwent hip surgery between his second and third years at Duke and there was hope that things would finally get better.
However, it was not to be as there was further decline in his game as Randolph only managed 4.4 points per game in 29 games. He grabbed 4.3 rebounds per game with 1.5 blocks but his major problem that year was foul trouble. Afflicted with mononucleosis, Randolph’s return was not quite as effective as it could, or should, have been.
Despite his poor form, Randolph was a part of a Duke team that won two ACC Tournament Championship titles as well as two ACC regular season championships. But his poor personal performance made it seem all the more odd and shocking when he decided to forego his final year at Duke to enter the NBA Draft in 2005.
By declaring for the 2005 NBA Draft, Randolph decided to let go of a team that was looking like a major challenger for the 2006 NCAA championships. Unsurprisingly, he went undrafted and was given a free-agent contract by the Philadelphia 76ers. Although he wasn’t put on the roster directly, he would have to prove himself in the training camp and that is exactly what he did.
Despite getting barely any playing time in his rookie season, Randolph played a bigger role towards the end of the season after working hard in training and practice. In the 2006-07 season, Randolph was beginning to make some sort of headway when he broke his ankle in a gruesome incident during practice. During the season, he was averaging 15.7 points per game with 14.5 rebounds and 1.88 steals. He also had 2.68 blocks per game, looking a bit more like the player he had promised to be.
In September of 2008, Randolph signed another non-guaranteed free agent contract with the Portland Trailblazers and his first game was Portland’s 38th of the season.