Jonathan Clay Redick was born on June 24, 1984 in Cookeville TN. The nickname JJ was given to him by his twin older sisters Alyssa and Catie. At a young age, JJ moved to Roanoke, Virginia, where he was home-schooled with the rest of his siblings. In 5th grade, JJ switched to public school where his basketball skills were quickly noticed on the playground. As a child, JJ could usually be found shooting hoops at the basket that stood at the end of his driveway. JJ’s jumper was well known around Roanoke, but when JJ started his high school career at Cave Spring High School, he began receiving national attention.
He averaged 20 points a game in his freshman and sophomore years, making him one of the most sought after recruits in the country. Ever since watching the Blue Devils win their consecutive championships in 1991 and 1992, JJ dreamed of playing at Duke for Coach K. Despite attempts by many of the nation’s top colleges, JJ committed to Duke before his junior year. He was a participant in the McDonald’s All-American game, where he won MVP of the game as well as the 3-point contest. JJ was named Virginia’s Player of the Year and led his Cave Spring team to the 2002 AAA State Championship, scoring a career high 43 points in the final game. He also won two national championships with his AAU team during this time.
JJ arrived at Duke with loads of hype and expectations, and it didn’t take him long to make an impact during his freshman year. He averaged 15 points a game and finished second for ACC Freshman of the Year honors. In his sophomore year, JJ led the Blue Devils in scoring during a memorable season that was highlighted by an ACC record streak of 54-straight made free throws. That year’s team made it to the Final Four, but failed to venture any further. In his junior year, JJ was named an All-American, was the ACC Player of the Year, and won the Rupp National Player of the Year Award. He led both the Blue Devils and the ACC in scoring that season, averaging over 21 points a game. JJ also won the ACC Tournament MVP by scoring over 25 points per game en route to the tournament title.
After his junior year, JJ elected to stay in school for his senior season and to finish his education. The decision to stay for his senior year was a good one as JJ set numerous records and received many prestigious awards. During his final year at Duke, JJ set the records for most points scored in ACC history, highest free-throw percentage in ACC history, most points in a single season in Duke history, and most points in ACC tournament history. He also broke the NCAA record for most 3 pointers made on his way to winning the Wooden, Naismith, and Rupp awards for the College Basketball Player of the Year.
After graduating from Duke University, JJ took his talents to the NBA where he was drafted 11th in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic. JJ’s rookie year was full of ups and downs. He helped the Magic reach the playoffs; however, they were quickly defeated by the Detroit Pistons. JJ participated in the summer league and got to play with some of the best players in the world at the US National Team practices. During the 2007-2008 season, JJ was motivated and ready to build off of his rookie season and help the Magic go deeper into the playoffs. The Magic defeated the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs before losing to the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. During the offseason, JJ trimmed his body fat, increased his strength, and increased his lateral quickness. This hard work paid off and during the 2008–2009 season, JJ’s minutes began to pick up, as he averaged 17.4 minutes instead of the previous season’s 8.1, and played in 64 games instead of 34. JJ was an important contributor off the bench for a Magic team that went all the way to the NBA Finals before losing to the Lakers in 5 games. During the 2009-2010 season JJ’s rise continued as he was featured in a career high 82 games, averaging 22 minutes per game, and scoring 9.6 PPG. However, again the Magic fell just short, and were knocked out of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference Finals by the Boston Celtics. This past year JJ set career highs in minutes per game (25.4) and points per game (10.1) and helped the Magic reach the playoffs for the fifth year in a row, before they fell in the first round to the Atlanta Hawks. JJ is continuing to work hard in order to earn a starting spot for the Orlando Magic. He hopes that his production will continue to rise, and that the Magic can get back to the NBA finals, and this time, win it all.