Although Dr. Fauci has become the expert on the COVID-19 front, many don’t know he once was a high school basketball star. How would he fare on the Houston Rockets today?
As we all know by now, the NBA has been on a seemingly never-ending hiatus, which has forced the Houston Rockets to be out of commission since March 10th. The nation has turned to Dr. Fauci for the latest updates on the coronavirus front, as his skill and expertise on the matter has been pivotal.
Fauci also had skill and expertise in a much different area, long before he became one of the world’s best doctors. Although the doctor stands only 5-foot-7, Fauci was one of the best players on his high school basketball team.
Regis High School.
1958. NYC. pic.twitter.com/9lyJxz7ocg
— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) March 29, 2020
Fauci was so talented on the court that he even drew praise from President Trump, although he cited Fauci’s lack of size. Trump stated:
“You know, he was a great basketball player. Did anybody know that? He was a little on the short side for the NBA, but he was talented.”
As we all know, the Houston Rockets don’t exactly value size, so that wouldn’t necessarily be an issue for Fauci. Sure, the Rockets’ small-ball strategy has nothing to do with smaller point guards, but let’s play with the idea for a bit.
In the same way the nation has turned to Fauci for his leadership on the coronavirus front, so too did his teammates at Regis High, as they named him a team captain during his senior season. As highlighted by Ben Cohen of the Wall Street Journal, Fauci averaged 10.2 points per game as a senior in 1958, and led the team past all-city star Donnie Walsh, who had an NBA career of his own, albeit in an administrative role.
Fauci had a game that would not only thrive with the Houston Rockets style of play, but also in the modern-day NBA, as he was described as an outside shooter, excellent ball-handler, and pesky defender. In other words, Fauci was the modern-day 3-and-D player, which is a valuable skillset in today’s game.
Fauci’s list of skills check all the boxes for the Rockets, and it’s safe to say he’d carve out at least 16-20 minutes a night on this Rockets team. Not only that, he’d be an excellent option on back-to-back games, when Russell Westbrook rests.
Fauci scored 203 points during his senior season, which was the highest scoring total on the team, which makes sense considering his stellar 3-point shooting ability. The Rockets consistently shoot the most 3-pointers in the NBA, and Fauci would get alot of open looks playing alongside James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
Fauci has become a superstar on the COVID-19 front, while also being the consensus MVP in that league. In addition, his defense against the spread of the pandemic would also earn him Defensive Player of the Year honors as well.
But it’s also safe to say the Houston Rockets could use Fauci’s skillset on the hardwood, regardless of his lack of size.