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January 2, 2007 > An outside game

An outside game

By Steve Michel

Eddie House was born May 14th, 1978 in Berkeley. He started playing basketball as a young kid on East Bay playgrounds and public parks. When it came time to start high school, House enrolled at James Logan High School in Union City, where his family lived at the time. It was there that he first encountered treatment as an outsider.

Eddie's father and the Logan head coach did not see eye-to-eye over the coach's hard and fast rule that no freshman, no matter how talented, would play varsity basketball. Mr. House told the coach junior varsity basketball would be no challenge for his son. The coach would not back down, so House transferred Eddie to Hayward High School.

He was welcomed with open arms by the Hayward High basketball coach who saw what an amazing talent House was. The Union City scoring machine went on to a great basketball career at Hayward High where he became one of the best shooters and scorers in Farmer basketball history. He was named All-H.A.A.L. and All-Eastbay as a junior and again as a senior. House graduated from Hayward High in 1996.

House dreamed of playing basketball at Cal-Berkeley after high school but found himself confronted with a problem similar to the one at Logan High. Cal coaches thought he should go to a junior college first because they felt he was not yet ready for major college basketball. House turned instead to Arizona State University, which offered him a "full ride" scholarship to play for them.

Again, the outside shooter's deft scoring touch did not disappoint. House went on to become both the Sun Devil's all-time career scoring leader, with 2,044 points; and all-time steals leader with 258 thefts credited. In his senior season, 1999-2000, House really rewarded the SunDevil's investment, distinguishing himself in many ways, starting with the school's season points-per-game average record at 23. He earned Pac-10 Conference Player of the Week honors a record-tying four times. Finally, he was named Pac-10 Player of the Year, one of only two Sun Devils to land that title. NBA star, Ike Diogu, was the other.

In that same season, the Cal-Berkeley reject exploded for a school-record 61 points in a double-overtime thriller. Adding insult to Golden Bear injury, House also collected the single game Sun Devil's record by canning 18 of 19 free throws. He told family and friends that he would never forgive or forget that Cal rejected him and he would always be up big time when he came home to play Cal in Berkeley.

After college House was selected in the second round of the 2000 NBA draft by the Miami Heat. At 6-1 and only 175 pounds, House found himself overmatched, physically. Still, his rookie year went well with House collecting minutes off the bench as an outside scoring threat. His scoring average was 7 points per game. In the 2000-2001 playoffs, he did even better scoring 12.7 per game. His second season with the Heat he averaged 8.0 points per game. His third year in Miami he averaged 7.5 points per game. Then in his fourth year in the NBA, House was traded to the Phoenix Suns where he became a backup to NBA MVP Steve Nash, who played his college ball at Santa Clara University.

This year (2006-2007), House is playing for the New Jersey Nets and is a backup to
All-Star Jason Kidd, who grew up in Oakland and played high school basketball at St. Joseph's in Alameda. House missed the first part of the season due to knee surgery, but he's healthy now. Every team in the NBA needs a player like House who can come into the game and provide instant offense. Lately, due to other player injuries, House has been starting for the Nets. He led the team in scoring with 22 points in a December 23 game against the Milwaukie Bucks.

He is an outside shooter, who was treated as an outsider twice in his career and every time it happened, House proved his critics wrong. Bay Area native and NBA pro, Eddie House, has proved "he's got game!"

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