the Baller’s Almanac: September 6, 2012

It's John Wall's birthday. Wall, born in Raleigh, North Carolina, grew up with his father in prison. His father was released when Wall was nine, but died a month later due to liver cancer.

Wall played his first two years of high school basketball in Garner, North Carolina, and then transferred to Broughton High in Raleigh, as a repeat sophomore. But then he transferred once again – this time to Word of God in Raleigh – after he was cut from the Broughton team due to his behavior. At Word of God he developed into the consensus No. 2 recruit in the nation behind Derrick Favors.

Wall eventually chose Kentucky over Duke, Kansas, Baylor and Georgia Tech. His recruitment was a circus – UNC never offered a scholarship to the local star and reportedly would only do so if he cut ties with his handler Brian Clifton, Baylor hired one of his AAU coaches in an attempt to land him, and Wall eventually suspended for two games at Kentucky over benefits provided to him by Clifton. Two years after he left for the NBA college coaches named his recruitment as the 3rd most dirty in the past decade.

He played in Lexington for one season, helping to lead the team to an Elite 8 appearance.

Wall would be drafted No. 1 overall in the NBA draft.

Other birthdays include: Ben Goldfaden 1913 (George Washington), Gerry Ward 1941 (Boston College), Ron Boone 1946 (Idaho State), Greg Griffin 1952 (Idaho State), Kevin Willis 1962 (Michigan State), Anthony Goldwire 1971 (Houston), Sean Singletary 1985 (Virginia)