It has been over 30 years since Doug Christie led Rainier Beach High School to its first Washington boys basketball state title. But Christie is still a household name in the Seattle area.
Christie, 48, who went on to star at Pepperdine University and play for 15 years in the NBA, is now a TV color analyst for the Sacramento Kings. I recently caught up with Christie to ask him seven questions about his high school basketball memories and much more:
What is your best high school basketball memory?
Winning the 1st State title for Rainier Beach High School in 1988!
What impact did your high school coach have on you?
Mel Williams had an incredible impact on my life! He was the first person that I ever heard say “Doug, you can make it to the NBA.” So he helped make my dream real, which was an incredible gift that I thank him for to this day!
What are you doing now?
I am the TV color analyst for the Sacramento Kings and co-host of the daily Grant Napear radio show (3-7 p.m.).
Who is the best player you played against in high school?
Shawn Kemp. I played against him in a Vegas tournament and he was the real deal!
What is your advice to today’s high school players?
Hit the books; knowledge is power! Fundamentals and hard, smart work are the keys. Love and respect the game.
What is your opinion about AAU and high school basketball (recruiting process in general)?
I’m not a big AAU guy if the team doesn’t teach fundamentals. And they play too many games. Teach the kids “how to play!” The recruiting process is what it is. The student-athlete and their families have to trust and live with their decision.
What was your favorite high school gym and rivalry?
I loved playing at Garfield High School, where the Jamboree was always next level. Incredible environment! Chief Sealth High School was a great rival. Marcus Stubblefield, Marcus Lollie, Tim Goodman. O’Dea High School was another rival. Jason Thomas, Ray Hall, Demetrious DeBose (RIP).
Christie’s playing background
High school: Mark Morris High School 1984-86; Rainier Beach High School 1986-88 (Washington state player of the year, 1988)
College: Pepperdine University 1989-1992 (2-time WCC player of the year)
NBA: 15 seasons for seven teams (NBA all-defensive first team, 2003)
Christie was an All-American track & field athlete in high school. He was the Washington state high jump champion in 1988.
Watch highlights of Christie from his time with the Sacramento Kings: