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Al Jefferson (born January 4, 1985 in Monticello, Mississippi) is an American professional basketball player for the Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA.
Jefferson attended Prentiss High School in Prentiss, Mississippi. As a senior, he was a 2004 McDonald's All-American selection, and was a finalist for the Naismith Award, after he averaged an astounding 42 points, 16 rebounds and 9 blocks per game during the season. He committed to the University of Arkansas, but decided to forego college for the NBA Draft.
Al Jefferson was drafted out of high school with the 15th pick by the Boston Celtics in the 2004 NBA Draft, becoming the first high school player to be drafted by the Celtics (Kendrick Perkins was drafted by the Grizzlies, then traded to Boston on draft day in the 2003 NBA Draft). He played primarily as a power forward and averaged 6.7 points and 4.4 rebounds in 14.8 minutes per game during his rookie season. Jefferson's 2005-2006 season was widely considered a disappointment, mostly due to a series of ankle injuries which limited him to playing in 59 games. He averaged 7.9 points and 5.1 rebounds in 18.0 minutes per game during his sophomore season.
In 2006-2007, Jefferson had his breakout season due to an injury to captain Paul Pierce, he finished averaging 16 pts, 11 reb, and 1.3 blocks a game that year. On July 31, 2007 it was made official that Jefferson was to be traded along with Gerald Green, Ryan Gomes, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair, and draft picks, to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Garnett.
Through 18 games with the Timberwolves, Jefferson had played a career high minutes (36.4 per game), points and rebounds per game average (20.1 ppg and 12.1 rpg) while the squad won only 3 of the 18 games. "Big Al" has put together an All-Star type season. He is 1 of only 2 players (the other being Dwight Howard) to average 20 ppg and 12 rpg. He has established himself as the new franchise player on a rebuilding Minnesota team. Big Al had a career high 39 points in a 117-107 win over the second-best record Suns. This was the first time that the Wolves won two straight this season. On January 27, 2008 Jefferson scored a new career high 40 points in a win over the New Jersey Nets.