Robert Swift is a professional American basketball player who plays primarily as a center. The 7’1” player began his playing career at the Garces Memorial High School before moving to the Bakersfield High School. He became the team’s stalwart to continue his feats with the Garces Memorial High School where he helped the team climb into the top-25 rankings of the USA Today high school basketball rankings. Swift transferred, first to the Highland High School between his junior and senior years and then, completed his senior year at the Bakersfield High School.
The California Interscholastic Federation declared Swift ineligible for the 2003-04 season but he appealed, a move that was upheld and Swift ended up playing in his senior season as well. Swift graduated out of high school and committed to the University of Southern California however, he had also declared for the 2004 NBA Draft and once picked, decided to forego college.
Swift was picked at 12th overall, in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Seattle Supersonics to become the first Caucasian and Asian player (his father is half Japanese) to be drafted directly out of high school into the NBA. In his rookie season, Swift averaged just 4.5 minutes per game and all his stats were below 1.0 per game (0.9 points, 0.4 rebounds and 0.4 blocks). However he became a major player for the team in the second season.
He played 47 games with 20 starts while scoring at 6.4 points per game with 5.6 rebounds and 1.19 blocks per game.
In 2006, he became the team’s main center but an injury to his right knee ligament meant that his only action that season was a pre-season game against the Sacramento Kings where he played just 1 minute. In 2008, he torn his lateral meniscus on the right knee again, in another injury during a game.