Born: February 17, 1980
Albert Harrington was born February 17, 1980 in Orange and grew up in Roselle. A big, agile shooter who didn’t play a minute of organized basketball until his teens,
Al was nonetheless tabbed as a future NBA star from the time he entered St. Patrick High in Elizabeth. His teammates with the Celtics included future pros Samuel Dalembert and Herve Lamizana. Al was named all-state in each of his four varsity seasons.
As a senior in 1997–98, Al came into his own as a McDonald’s All-American, and was named USA Today National Player of the Year. He averaged 22 points and 11 rebounds a game and was recruited by dozens of schools. He had narrowed his choices down to Seton Hall and Georgia Tech when he began thinking seriously about skipping college and going straight to the NBA. Conversations with his cousin, Dahntay Jones, and with Kevin Garnett convinced him to take a chance.
The Indiana Pacers selected Al with the 25th pick in the draft. He was a bench player for his first three seasons, and began to make an impact in his fourth when he injured a knee. He came back in 2002–03 and was a finalist for the Sixth Man Award in 2003–04. He was a key piece of the Pacers’ run to the conference finals.
Al was traded to the Hawks after the season. He became a starter in Atlanta, where he averaged better than 17 points and 7 rebounds a night. Al was traded back to Indiana after two seasons, and then to the Warriors and the Knicks. He had his two best seasons as a pro in New York, regularly scoring 20 a game.
Al was on the other side of 30 at this point and the Knicks let him go. The Nuggets picked him up and he played to seasons in Denver before concluding his career with the Magic and Wizards. He officially retired in 2015.