Virginia – Moses Malone
6 Seasons – 24 PPG, 15 REB, 1.5 AST
Another no-brainer, Moses Malone is the third-best Houston Rocket of all-time behind Hakeem Olajuwon and James Harden. Spending six of his 21 seasons with Houston from 1977-82, Malone was an All-Star for all but one of those seasons.
The 6-10 center from Petersburg, Virginia has a list of accomplishments that includes three MVPs, 13 All-Star selections, an NBA Finals MVP, two All-Defensive selections and an induction to the Hall of Fame.
Malone is currently third in team history in total rebounds and blocks, first in rebounds per game and sixth in scoring.
Honorable mention: Ralph Sampson
Washington – Aaron Brooks
6 Seasons – 11.7 PPG, 1.8 REB, 3.3 AST
Selected 26th overall by the Houston Rockets in 2007, Aaron Brooks took some time to ease into his abilities. Once the 2009-10 season started, however, Brooks hit his peak, increasing his averages from 11.2 points and 3.0 assists per game to 19.6 and 5.3.
Brooks also started all 82 games in that campaign, and his growth earned him the NBA’s Most Improved Player award at the season’s end. Brooks also shined in the 2008-09 playoffs, averaging 16.8 points and 3.4 assists in 13 games.
West Virginia – Dave Jamerson
2 Seasons – 3.6 PPG, 0.9 REB, 0.7 AST
There’s only one player from West Virginia that’s played for the Houston Rockets, and that’s Dave Jamerson. Drafted by the Miami Heat as the 15th pick in 1990, Jamerson ended up in Houston before the season started and spent his rookie and sophomore seasons as a Rocket.
The Clarksburg-born guard played in 85 total games for H-Town before moving on to the New Jersey Nets and Utah Jazz in 1993, where he played in just five more games total before exiting the league.
Wisconsin – Don Kojis
3 Seasons – 19.6 PPG, 9.1 REB, 2.3 AST
Completing our list is one last member of the San Diego Rocket crew. Don Kojis was selected 21st overall by the Chicago Packers, which was apparently a team at some point. He didn’t see a minute in the NBA until 1963, however, and ended up on the Rockets in 1967.
Something about being a Rocket seemed to awaken the star in Kojis, as he went from averaging 7.5 points per game over his first four seasons to 21.1 in his first two seasons in San Diego. In fact, the only two All-Star appearances of the Milwaukee native’s career happened in his first two years as Rocket.
Which state will be next?
I’ll be honest, it was surprising to see there are so many states that still haven’t produced a single Rocket over the franchise’s long history. What’s up with the Dakotas? And I know the Rockets have never gotten along with Utah, but there have been 25 NBA players born there and not one has so much as passed through Houston?
With 14 states still yet to produce a Rocket, I would imagine a state like Arizona or Utah, states that have produced a decent amount of players, to be next on this list.
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For now, having Hall of Famers representing seven different states for the franchise is not too shabby.