James Harden

James Harden, originally from Los Angeles, came to Arizona State University to play basketball in 2007. He was named an AP First-Team All American and a Pac-10 Player of the Year during his time at ASU. Harden was the third Sun Devil in school history to earn Pac-10 Player of the Year honors and the fifth player in Pac-10 history to lead the league in scoring and steals. Harden was drafted third overall in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder. In his first NBA season, he was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team. Harden had the best season in his NBA career in 2012, averaging 16.8 points in 31.4 minutes per game, even though he played only 2 of 62 games as a starter, and was named the 2012 NBA Sixth Man of the Year, becoming the second youngest player ever to do so. Today, Harden continues to play in the NBA for the Houston Rockets, and is frequently recognized by his prominent beard, which he began growing in 2009. Harden’s beard is so renowned that it has its own Facebook page and Twitter account. In 2012, he was a member of United States’ gold-medal-winning Olympic men’s basketball team. His ASU jersey number was retired by the Sun Devils in 2015.