PRO BASKETBALL PLAYER
During the mid-1980s, a basketball phenom from Paseo High School burst onto the scene. This teenager, Anthony Peeler, was such a Missouri celebrity in high school that thousands of basketball fans packed the Hearnes Center in Columbia during the state basketball championships to get a glimpse of him. Much to the delight of Missouri fans, they were also able to watch him star at Mizzou until he made his way into the NBA.
THE EARLY YEARS
Anthony Peeler was born on November 25, 1969, in Kansas City. He rose to prominence in Missouri basketball early in his high school career by becoming the leading scorer in Class 4A during his freshman year. He had a great deal of success over his next three years, leading Paseo High School to the state championship numerous times, where he thrilled the crowds with high scoring performances and amazing dunks. During his senior year, Peeler was named Mr. Show Me Basketball before heading to Columbia to play for the University of Missouri Tigers.
RISE TO FAME
Peeler arrived on the campus in Columbia as one of the most anticipated recruits in Missouri basketball history. His impact on the team was immediate, as he averaged more than ten points a game as a freshman. He continued his dominance as a sophomore and junior, averaging seventeen and nineteen points respectively.
The entire country, and of course NBA scouts, were watching closely as Peeler took the court for his senior year at Mizzou. During his final season in the black and gold, Peeler averaged more than twenty-three points per game. He was named Player of the Year and Male Athlete of the Year in the Big 8 Conference. He also earned the coveted Second-Team All-American honor and was a finalist for the Wooden and Naismith Awards for the top player in college basketball.
SHOW ME SUCCESS
Peeler became one of the highest draft picks ever from the Show Me State, as the Los Angeles Lakers picked him in the first round as the fifteenth overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft. Just like at Mizzou, his first year with the team exceeded expectations. He became the first Lakers rookie in nearly a decade to average double figures in scoring.
He played four years in Los Angeles before he was traded to Vancouver. He had a great deal of success with the Grizzlies, averaging twelve points per game with his slash and jam style. He also set a career high for scoring as he poured in forty points against the New Jersey Nets.
Peeler was traded to Minnesota midway through the 1997–98 season and stayed with the team for the next five seasons. He finished his final two years in the NBA with the Sacramento Kings and the Washington Wizards. During his thirteen years in the NBA, he played in the playoffs ten separate years where he averaged seven points per game. Peeler finished his playing career as one of the most prolific scorers in Missouri basketball history at all levels of play.
*He played in a total of 57 playoff games during his NBA career.
*His highest yearly salary was in 2003, when he earned $3,350,000.