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An NBA point guard, Derek Fisher was a member of the Los Angeles Lakers when they won three straight championships from 2000 to 2002.
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NBA basketball player. Born August 9, 1974, in Little Rock, Arkansas. Derek Fisher's mother, Annette Fisher, worked at a bank, and his father, John Fisher, was an ex-military man who worked as a post office administrator. Fisher credits his parents, and especially his father, with instilling in him from a young age the drive necessary to succeed in basketball, and life. "The work ethic that he and my mom exhibited," Fisher says, "was instrumental in my development, and my dad also did more than just lead by example. He pushed me in certain ways that I can never forget or thank him enough for."
Fisher was exposed to basketball at a very young age, mainly by his older half-brother, Duane Washington. Fisher remembers watching courtside while his brother played high school basketball. "I was too little to play, but I'd watch Duane," Fisher remembers. Washington made it all the way to the NBA, putting in brief stints for the New Jersey Nets and Los Angeles Clippers before his career was derailed by cocaine addiction. While his brother was in rehab, a young Fisher called daily to offer his support, and he made a vow never to get involved with drugs himself.
Fisher soon followed in his brother's footsteps as a basketball star. He attended Little Rock's Parkview Arts and Science Magnet High School, where he was a standout point guard. Fisher was a McDonald's High School All-American, and led Parkview to an Arkansas state championship. He was also an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) All-American, leading his summer AAU team to a national championship.
Fisher graduated from high school in 1992. Despite his prep basketball accomplishments, no major collegiate program recruited him. Instead, Fisher attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR), not far from his childhood home, on a full scholarship. Fisher proved one of the greatest players ever to suit up for UALR, finishing second in the school's history for career points (1,393), assists (372) and steals (189). In 1996, during his senior year, Fisher won honors as the Sunbelt Conference Player of the Year.
One of the better point guards in the 1996 NBA draft, Fisher was drafted 24th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers, nine picks after the Lakers' other, more celebrated rookie that season, a straight-from-high-school prospect named Kobe Bryant. Later that summer, the Lakers signed superstar center Shaquille O'Neal, bringing together the core of the team that would win three straight championships from 2000-02. O'Neal and Bryant were the superstars, of course, but Fisher played a vital role on those teams as a steady player able to knock down big shots when needed.
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