22. Isiah Thomas
Isiah Thomas, who is commonly known as Zeke, The Baby-Faced Assassin and Pocket Magic, is one of many shining examples of a Chicago native that turned pro.
Thomas made his NBA debut in October of 1981 after getting drafted with the No. 2 overall pick by the Detroit Pistons. He would prove his value by leading the team to have some postseason success.
Notable professional accolades include 12 All-Star Game nods, two NBA championship titles, two MVP honors and one Finals MVP honor.
The reasons for Thomas’ success are plentiful.
Thomas was among the top 20 in assists per game for 12 seasons. He was among the top 20 in points for four seasons. Not to forget to mention Thomas proved to be quite lethal from behind the three-point line. He charted among the top 20 in three-point field goals for four seasons. In addition, Thomas ranked among the top 20 in three-point field goal attempts for five seasons.
At the other end of the floor, Thomas ranked among the top 20 in steals for eight seasons. He was ranked No. 18 overall in defensive rating during the 1989-90 season.
Thomas was inducted as a player into the Hall of Fame in 2000.
Thomas attended college at the University of Indiana in Bloomington, Indiana and high school at St. Joseph High School in Westchester, Illinois prior to turning pro in 1981.