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34 Deandre Liggins

Deandre Liggins
Deandre Liggins
Hometown (Last School)
Chicago, IL (Washington)
2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11
March 31, 1988

Deandre Liggins was born DeAndre Desmond Liggins on March 31, 1988, in Chicago, to Tammi Liggins.

Back in 2002, Liggins was a grade-schooler who had never played organized basketball. Then in the span of three months, his father died of a diabetic attack and his brother – Maurice Davis, a star basketball player at Englewood – was shot to death.

“When my brother was playing ball, I wasn’t playing ball at all,” Liggins said. “When he died, it seemed like all his talents came to me. That’s what I’m doing — I’m playing for him.” 

Liggins credited his grandmother, Annie with whom he lived and who was his legal guardian, for helping him cope with the double tragedy.

“She keeps me tight,” Liggins said. “I’m real close with her. She raised me.”

She’s also one of his biggest fans, along with his sisters, Tempestt and Tammie. But had it not been for Davis’ death, they might not be cheering on their talented brother. He didn’t go out for basketball till sixth gråde, the same year Davis died.

Liggins suited up for Washington High in Chicago where he played against former Memphis standout Derrick Rose, played AAU ball for Indiana Elite, and was a teammate of Tyler Zeller (UNC) and Emanuel Negedu (Tennessee).  Liggins was never much of a scorer with Indiana Elite, but it seems like he would come up with eight or nine assists and seven or eight rebounds every game.  That action began to draw the attention of Division I coaches around the country.  Liggins began to receive many high-D1 offers, including Memphis, Arkansas, Illinois, Georgia Tech, Arizona, Virginia, Texas and Kansas.  Liggins finished his junior year of high school at George Washington High School in Chicago averaging a triple-double: 14 points, 10  rebounds, and 10 assists.  In August of 2007, Liggins decided to leave Chicago Washington, and play his final year at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas.  He averaged 13.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game.  He scored in double figures in 26 of 33 games and recorded 12 double-doubles.  Liggins was ranked as the fifth-best point guard in the country and 21st overall according to He helped his AAU team, the prestigious Indiana Elite, to the 2007 Kingwood Classic championship.  He scored 11 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in the championship game.

Within a couple of weeks of being hired at UK in May of 2007, Billy Gillispie offered a scholarship to Liggins.  On June 27, 2007, Liggins became the fifth highly regarded prospect to commit to UK since Gillispie became coach in April. He’s considered the third — along with incoming freshmen Patrick Patterson and Alex Legion — to be well-qualified for a high school All-American.  Liggins chose Kentucky over Memphis, Illinois, and Kansas.

As a freshman at Kentucky, Liggins played in 33 games, starting one.  He had six points, seven rebounds, five assists and two blocked shots against VMI in his collegiate debut.  Liggins scored a career-high 16 points with seven rebounds and four assist against Lamar.  He was also 6-for-6 from the field, 2-of-2 from both three-point and free throw lines in the win over Lamar.  Liggins set a new career high with 18 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals against No. 21 Miami.  Liggins earned his first career start against Central Michigan, totaling six points, five rebounds, and a career-high eight assists.  He made UK’s first three-pointer in NIT history against UNLV and made his last two attempts from behind the arc.

Liggins had been a regular player on Coach Billy Gillispie’s 2008-2009 Wildcat team but did not play in any of the Kentucky Wildcat’s first nine games his sophomore season.  He didn’t play until the Indiana game where he got in one minute.  After that, he became a mainstay on the team playing 15-20 minutes a game for the rest of the season.  What the world saw was a whole new DeAndre Liggins.  His new area of concentration was hard-nosed, smash-mouth basketball.  From his stifling, overwhelming defense to his team leadership in the floor burn department, Liggins was playing like a machine that was stuck in overdrive.  Liggins played in the last 29 games, averaging 3.8 points.  He scored seven points while pulling down five rebounds in the Elite Eight game against West Virginia.

Liggins started off the 2010-2011 season in much the same way.  He then found himself in the role of the experienced veteran on a team of freshmen and talented older players who had not found their game. 

Liggins’ effort paid off as he became a rotation player for the Wildcats, who went 35-3 and ultimately fell in the Elite Eight. The next year with Bledsoe and Wall in the NBA, he logged the second-most minutes on the team and earned a spot on the all-East Region team during Kentucky’s Final Four run.

On April 20, 2011, Liggins announced that he would test the NBA waters.  He was drafted by the Orlando Magic in the second round (53rd overall). He played for the Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Golden State Warriors during his NBA career.

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