Questions and Answers
Rondo was born on February 22, 1986 in Louisville, Kentucky to Amber Rondo. He has three siblings: Dymon, William and Anton. He had little contact with his father, who left his family when he was seven years old. To support the family, his mother worked the third shift at Philip Morris USA, a tobacco company. Rondo was first interested in football, before his mother steered him towards basketball because she felt that the sport would be less punishing on his skinny frame. After Rondo became serious about basketball, he attended Louisville’s Eastern High School for three years where he played under head coach Doug Bibby. During his junior year, he averaged 27.9 points, 10.0 rebounds and 7.5 assists. He also earned All-State honors and was named the 7th Region Player of the Year. He transferred to Virginia’s Oak Hill
Rondo committed to University of Kentucky over hometown University of Louisville, who spurned Rondo in favor of the higher-rated Sebastian Telfair. Rondo, along with All-Americans Joe Crawford and Randolph Morris, gave Kentucky the top-rated recruiting class for 2004 according to Rivals.com. Rondo led Kentucky to several wins including clutch-shot victories against the University of Louisville, South Carolina and Central Florida, but Kentucky failed to advance to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament in either Rondo’s freshman or sophomore seasons. He was named to the SEC All-Freshmen Team. He set a Kentucky Wildcats record for most steals in single-season, with a total of 87 steals in his freshman year and made at least one steal in every game. He finished his freshman year at Kentucky averaging 8.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.6 steals.
In his sophomore year he had a career high 12 assists against Ole Miss, despite playing just 23 minutes, and 25 points against Louisville. Rondo also set another Kentucky Wildcats record for most rebounds in a game by a guard, with 19 rebounds in an early season loss to Iowa. He was not known for being a shooter, however, going 18-66 from three with a 57.1% FT average. He averaged 11.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.1 steals per game in his sophomore year. Rondo was also named to the 2005 USA Men’s Under-21 World Championship Team, which traveled to Argentina for the FIBA World Championships. He averaged 11.0 ppg and 4.5 apg in the eight-game tournament, garnering much attention from NBA scouts. The USA U-21 team won a gold medal at the Global Games held in Texas in late July.
Following the 2005–06 NCAA season, Rondo announced he would forgo his final two seasons at Kentucky and enter the NBA draft. Rondo was drafted 21st overall by the Phoenix Suns in the 2006 NBA Draft. Phoenix then traded him to the Boston Celtics along with Brian Grant for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ first-round draft pick in the 2007 NBA Draft and cash considerations. He was the first point guard to be chosen in the draft. In another draft-day deal, the Celtics acquired Sebastian Telfair from the Portland Trail Blazers, finally uniting the backcourt Pitino had envisioned at Louisville. He was signed by the Boston Celtics on July 4, 2006.
From Sports Illustrated, May 31, 2004: Who’s No. 1? In recruiting, Kentucky is, thanks to three McDonald’s All-Americans
From Sports Illustrated, November 21, 2005: The Wildcats can go far if their center is eligible and their point gets his points