Felipe López (basketball)

Dominican Republic basketball player

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Felipe López
Personal information
Born (1974-12-19) December 19, 1974 (age 46)
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Listed height6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight199 lb (90 kg)
Career information
High schoolRice (New York City, New York)
CollegeSt. John's (1994–1998)
NBA draft1998 / Round: 1 / Pick: 24th overall
Selected by the San Antonio Spurs
Playing career1998–2011
PositionShooting guard
Career history
19982000Vancouver Grizzlies
2000–2001Washington Wizards
20012002Minnesota Timberwolves
2002Diablos de La Vega
2004–2005Long Beach Jam
2005Baskets Oldenburg
2005Caballeros de Santiago
2006Plus Pujol Lleida
2006–2007Albany Patroons
2007Villa Duarte de Calero
2007–2008Minas Tênis Clube
2008Gregorio Urbano Gilbert
2008Marineros de Puerto Plata
2008Gaiteros del Zulia
2009Fuerza Regia de Monterrey
2009Obras Sanitarias
2010–2011Gregorio Urbano Gilbert
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Luis Felipe López (born December 19, 1974) is a Dominican retired professional basketball player from Santiago, Dominican Republic.

He starred in United States high school and college basketball. López then played for four seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA), but with far less success. He has since played for teams in a half dozen countries, as well as in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) in the U.S. Most recently, he has been a broadcaster with Spanish-language networks. In high school, López was a consensus All-American, and regarded as one of the elite high school players in the US. After López elected to attend St. John’s, he featured in a Sports Illustrated article on the abundance of High School talent about to enter the ‘Big East’ conference. "Big East Is Back", declared Sports Illustrated, with a feature article on López, Ray Allen, Allen Iverson, and Chris Herren. In high school, after a spectacular freshman year, López was selected for a US youth team which toured Australia. López was the leading scorer for the US Youth team, which went 11–1 on the tour. The only loss for the US team came against an Australian Youth All-Star team. López scored 31 points in that game, and averaged 34.6 points per game for the tour. Australia’s top junior talent, led by Brad Buccella and Jimmy Beer (who both scored 36 points), won a close contest 86–84. López got off a desperation three-pointer as time expired, which just missed. Despite the single loss, López was lauded as a future superstar, and went on to complete a glittering high school career at Rice High School (New York). López stayed in New York, attending St John’s. Sonny Vacarro, the same guru who made Michael Jordan synonymous with Nike, signed López to an Adidas shoe contract. Vacarro also signed another young phenom, Kobe Bryant. Vaccaro had left Nike on bad terms, and was trying to increase the popularity of Adidas in the Nike-dominated US basketball shoe market. López and Bryant were chosen by Adidas as young future stars. Bryant was seen as a bigger risk, as he was going straight to the NBA from high school. However, López never became the NBA star he was predicted to be. Bryant helped increase the popularity of Adidas in the US, before paying $10 million to break his contract with Adidas to switch to Nike. López was regarded by Slam magazine as one of the best NCAA Division One College players of the 1990s, after a strong freshman year at St. John’s. López struggled somewhat in his sophomore and junior seasons, before averaging 17.8 points per game in his senior year of college. López was a first-round draft pick for the San Antonio Spurs, being the 24th player selected in the 1998 draft.

Early life and high school career

Felipe's father, who played amateur baseball in the Dominican Republic, and his family immigrated to the U.S. when he was 14. López played high school basketball at Rice High School in New York City, where he followed New York high school player Dean Meminger in becoming one of the most highly touted recruits in U.S. high school history.[1] The 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) guard made many All-American lists in 1994, earning Player of the Year honors from Gatorade, USA Today, Parade, and many others.

Collegiate career

López appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated before he had played his first college game. He also appeared with Jim Brown and Jackie Joyner-Kersee at a conference along with then-president Bill Clinton.[2]

López finished his freshman season for the St. John's Red Storm with an 17.8-point-per-game scoring average. He earned a spot on the All-Big East Rookie Team and All-Big East Third Team. His numbers dipped slightly the next two years, bottoming out at 15.9 ppg as a junior. As a senior he averaged 17.6 ppg and garnered All-Big East First Team honors. He finished his career with 1,927 points, placing him fourth all-time in St. John's history behind former players Chris Mullin, Malik Sealy, and D'Angelo Harrison and sixth in Big East history with 1,222 conference points, while also ranking seventh all time in steals, 14th in assists, and 20th in rebounds. He also holds the St. John's record for most three-pointers made in a single season (60) and in a career (148).

Professional career

López was selected by the San Antonio Spurs with the 24th pick in the 1998 NBA draft and was immediately traded, along with Carl Herrera, to the Vancouver Grizzlies for point guard Antonio Daniels. López's drafting into the NBA was cause for great celebration in the heavily Dominican community of Washington Heights in New York City. He played 112 games for the Grizzlies before being traded to the Washington Wizards along with Dennis Scott, Cherokee Parks, and Obinna Ekezie in exchange for free agent Isaac Austin on August 22, 2000. López went on to sign as a free agent with both the Minnesota Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks, although he never played a regular season game for the Mavs. He trained with the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Clippers in the first months of the 2005–06 NBA season before signing a contract with Lleida.[3]

López holds career NBA averages of 5.8 points, 2.4 rebounds and one assist per game. He was known as the "Dominican Michael Jordan".[4]

Career statistics

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high


1998–99 Vancouver 47 32 25.9 .446 .273 .644 3.5 1.3 1.0 0.3 9.3
1999–00 Vancouver 65 0 12.0 .425 .167 .615 1.9 0.7 0.5 0.3 4.5
2000–01 Washington 47 38 23.6 .436 .207 .732 3.4 1.6 0.9 0.4 8.1
2000–01 Minnesota 23 10 19.9 .454 .565 .576 3.2 1.5 0.9 0.5 7.4
2001–02 Minnesota 67 0 8.7 .378 .424 .673 1.2 0.6 0.3 0.0 2.5
Career 249 80 16.6 .432 .327 .659 2.4 1.0 0.6 0.2 5.8


  1. ^ "Sports Illustrated story". Archived from the original on 2012-12-03. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
  2. ^ "Clinton Needles Sports World For Not Hiring Minorities". CNN. April 15, 1998.
  3. ^ San Martin, Pablo (January 12, 2006). "El Plus Pujol Lleida se refuerza con Luis Felipe López" (in Spanish). Retrieved July 15, 2006.
  4. ^ Webeck, Evan (August 15, 2014). "Former St. John's star Felipe Lopez gives back in retirement". SI.com. Retrieved April 28, 2019.

External links

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