O. J. Mayo

O. J. Mayo
O. J. Mayo
OJ Mayo in December 2008.
No. 32   Memphis Grizzlies
Shooting guard / Point guard
Personal information
Date of birth November 5, 1987 (1987-11-05) (age 24)
Place of birth Huntington, West Virginia, USA
Nationality American
High school Huntington High School
Listed height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight 210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
College USC
NBA Draft 2008 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3rd overall
Selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves
Pro career 2008–present
Career history
2008-present Memphis Grizzlies
Career highlights and awards
2009 NBA All-Rookie First Team
Stats at NBA.com

Ovinton J'Anthony "O. J." Mayo (born November 5, 1987 in Huntington, West Virginia[1]), is an American basketball player currently playing with the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA. He signed with the team on July 8, 2008.[2] He played college basketball for the University of Southern California (USC). As an athlete at Huntington High School and North College Hill High School in Cincinnati, he was considered by several media outlets to be the best high school basketball player in the United States.[3]

He chose to enter the 2008 NBA Draft instead of completing his three remaining years of college eligibility; when he chose Bill Duffy and Associates as his agency, he lost his NCAA eligibility. He was taken third overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves on June 26, 2008.[4] Following the draft, Minnesota traded him and three other players to the Grizzlies in exchange for Kevin Love and three players.

Mayo was a part of the 2008 U.S. Select Team to help get the Olympic team ready for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.[5]


High school

Mayo began playing high school basketball at Rose Hill Christian High School in Ashland, Kentucky. In Kentucky, grade schoolers can play high school basketball, and Mayo averaged 23.1 points for Rose Hill's varsity team while in seventh grade. In eighth grade, he tallied 20.5 points per game and was named a first-team all-state player by the Louisville Courier. Mayo then moved to suburban Cincinnati to live with grandfather Dwaine Barnes. Mayo was still in eighth grade when he enrolled at North College Hill High School in April 2003. The Cincinnati Enquirer and local television stations sent reporters to cover Mayo's first day of school at NCH.[6]

The 18-year-old junior guard was selected as Mr. Basketball of Ohio for the second consecutive season, in addition to being named Associated Press Division III Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. He averaged nearly 29 points, nine rebounds, and six assists per game. He also led his team to three consecutive AP poll titles and garnered much attention from the media, appearing in the pages of Sports Illustrated among other publications. Much like another high school star from Ohio (St. Vincent–St. Mary High School), LeBron James, Mayo drew large enough crowds to force his team into seeking larger venues to support the growing crowds, and often attracted National Basketball Association stars such as James and Carmelo Anthony to watch his games playing for the D-1 Greyhounds.

In February 2006, Mayo attracted the largest crowd to ever see a high school game in Cincinnati, Ohio. 16,202 fans watched North College Hill fall to the nation's number one rated team, Oak Hill Academy.[7] Mayo had been considered a lock to make the leap straight from high school to the NBA, but the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NBA and its players instituted a rule that a player must be at least a year out of high school before he can enter the NBA, effectively curtailing those plans. On July 5, 2006, it was reported by ESPN that he would attend USC.[8] On July 8, however, WSAZ-TV reported that USC was only one of three colleges that Mayo was considering: the other two being Kansas State University and the University of Florida.

Mayo enrolled at Huntington High School in Huntington, West Virginia for the 2006–07 school year. He formally committed to USC in November 2006.[9]

In January 2007, Mayo allegedly assaulted referee Mike Lazo after being ejected from a Huntington High game vs. Capital High School at the Charleston Civic Center.[10] According to West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission rules, Mayo was suspended for two games. However, due to allegations supported by video evidence that Lazo had overreacted and faked the incident, a temporary restraining order was signed by Cabell County Circuit Court Judge Dan O'Hanlan, temporarily lifting the suspensions on Mayo and five other players suspended due to incidents at that game.[11] However, shortly after, the restraining order was nullified and Mayo was suspended for three games, a punishment that Mayo described as "fair".[12]

On March 9, 2007, Mayo and three other men were cited by the Cabell County Sheriff's Dept. for misdemeanor simple possession of marijuana. Officers found the cannabis in a car in which Mayo was a passenger and, since no one claimed possession, all occupants were ticketed.[13] Charges against Mayo were dropped on March 12, 2007 after one of the other passengers in the vehicle took responsibility for the marijuana.[14]

Awards and Honors

Mayo was selected by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association as the 2007 recipient of the Bill Evans Award for the state's boys basketball player of the year. Mayo led the state in scoring for the 2006–2007 season at 28.4 points per game. Runner-up in the voting was teammate Patrick Patterson.[15]

On March 17, 2007, Mayo led Huntington High School to its third consecutive Class AAA basketball championship in the state of West Virginia with 103–61 rout of South Charleston. Mayo finished with a triple-double: 41 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists. In his final moments with a minute left in the game, Mayo threw the ball off the backboard from the free-throw line, caught it in midair, and dunked. He then threw the ball deep into the stands and held up three fingers, a reference to Huntington High's three-straight basketball state championships.[16]

He graduated in May 2007 and signed a letter of intent to enroll at USC. He scored a 29 on the ACT, placing him in the 95th percentile nationally.[17]


OJ Mayo in January 2008 as a college basketball player.

Mayo had given Kansas State a soft verbal commitment to play for them,[18] but retracted it when head coach Bob Huggins announced he would take the same position at West Virginia. Frank Martin, by whom Mayo was recruited, was named head coach. Former teammate at North College Hill High School Bill Walker opted to stay and play for Martin.

Mayo enrolled at the University of Southern California in Summer 2007, taking two classes.[19] While waiting for the season to begin, he began playing pickup basketball against current NBA players Kobe Bryant, Sam Cassell, Kevin Garnett, Mike Dunleavy, Jr., D. J. Augustin, Jason Kidd, Adam Morrison, and J. J. Redick.[19]

In the 2008 Pacific-10 Conference Men's Basketball Tournament, the Trojans lost to UCLA, featuring Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook, in the semi-finals. Both Mayo and Love were selected to the All Pac-10 tournament team. In his NCAA Tournament debut with the Trojans, Mayo scored 20 points as USC was beaten by Kansas State and freshman Michael Beasley and old high school teammate Bill Walker.

Mayo did not return for his sophomore season, opting to instead enter the 2008 NBA draft.

Mayo Receives Improper Benefits

On May 11, 2008, ESPN.com reported that a former "confidant", Louis Johnson, revealed on ESPN's TV show Outside the Lines that Mayo received numerous gifts in violation of NCAA rules. The report states that Mayo received the gifts from Rodney Guillory before and during his tenure at USC. Guillory is said to have received the money from the Bill Duffy Associates Sports Management (BDA).[20] On May 2, 2008, Mayo cut ties with BDA. He then hired Leon Rose to be his agent. In April 2009, the NCAA combined its investigations of Mayo and former running back Reggie Bush into a single probe of the Trojans' athletic program.[21]

Punishment For Rules Violation

On January 3, 2010, USC announced that it had determined Mayo was ineligible for the 2007-2008 season because he received improper benefits. As a result, USC vacated all 21 of its wins from the 2007-08 season, dropping its record to 0-12. A vacated game does not count as a win for the other team, but is officially treated as having never happened. USC also withdrew from postseason consideration (including the Pac-10 conference tournament) for the 2009-10 season.[22][23]


2008–09 season

On June 26, 2008, O. J. Mayo was selected 3rd overall in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Later that day, he was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies, along with Marko Jaric, Antoine Walker, and Greg Buckner, swapping them for the 5th overall pick Kevin Love, Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal, and Jason Collins.[24] In his NBA Summer League debut, Mayo had 15 points to lead the Grizzlies to an 88–75 win over the New Orleans Hornets. During his rookie season, Mayo scored 30 or more points seven times.

Mayo was the runner-up for the 2008–09 NBA Rookie of the Year Award, finishing second behind Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose.

2009–10 season

On November 1, 2009, O.J. Mayo scored a career high 40 points against the Denver Nuggets on 17 of 25 shooting.[25]

2010–11 season

Mayo was late for a game-day shootaround and was taken out of the starting lineup starting November 20, 2010.[26] On a return flight to Memphis from Los Angeles, Mayo was involved in a fight with teammate Tony Allen over a debt from an in-flight card game.[26]

On January 27, the NBA suspended Mayo for 10 games following a positive test for the steroid dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), which violates the league's anti-drug program. Mayo blamed an over the counter supplement that he didn't know was banned by the NBA for the positive test, but he declined to say which supplement he used.[27] He later said an unnamed energy drink he bought at a gas station contained the banned substance.[26]

NBA career statistics

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season

2008–09 Memphis 82 82 38.0 .438 .384 .879 3.8 3.2 1.1 .2 18.5
2009–10 Memphis 82 82 38.0 .458 .383 .809 3.8 3.0 1.2 .2 17.5
2010–11 Memphis 71 17 26.3 .407 .364 .756 2.4 2.0 1.0 .4 11.3
Career 235 181 34.5 .438 .378 .828 3.4 2.8 1.1 .2 16.0


2011 Memphis 13 2 27.8 .388 .408 .793 3.2 2.4 .8 .3 11.3
Career 13 2 27.8 .388 .408 .793 3.2 2.4 .8 .3 11.3


His parents are Alisa Mayo and Kenneth Maurice Ziegler. Mayo did not live with his father while growing up. Ziegler was charged on December 23, 2010 with attempted murder after he hit a police officer with his car in Huntington, West Virginia.[26]

Mayo's half-brother, Todd, is a 2011-12 basketball recruit of Marquette University.[28]

See also

  • 2006 high school boys basketball All-Americans


  1. ^ Yahoo! Sports bio
  2. ^ Grizzlies Sign Mayo
  3. ^ See Class of 2007 rankings by Scout.com and Rivals.com.
  4. ^ "OJ Mayo to declare for NBA draft". ESPN. 2008-04-09. http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/draft2008/news/story?id=3338940. Retrieved 2008-04-09. 
  5. ^ Mayo on U.S. Select Team
  6. ^ "Player Bio: O.J. Mayo". University of Southern California Official Athletic Site. http://usctrojans.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/mayo_oj00.html. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  7. ^ North College College Hill vs Oak Hill Academy
  8. ^ Katz, Andy (2006): "Sources: O. J. Mayo told USC staff he was committing", ESPN.com.
  9. ^ Lawlor, Christopher (November 15, 2006). "Mayo headed to USC". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/mensbasketball/pac10/2006-11-15-mayo-usc_x.htm. Retrieved May 20, 2010. 
  10. ^ A Star Player, a Video and a Suspension
  11. ^ O.J. cleared to play
  12. ^ suspension:"Prep hoops star Mayo suspended three games", ESPN.com.
  13. ^ Hubbard, Travis (2007): "Mayo cited for marijuana possession", The Herald-Dispatch March 10, 2007
  14. ^ Johnson, Curtis: "Mayo drug charge sent him to prison for 6 months", The Herald Dispatch March 12, 2007
  15. ^ Associated Press: "O. J. Mayo Named Top Player in WV", WSAZ News March 12, 2007
  16. ^ Associated Press: "It's A 3-Peat For HHS", WSAZ News March 17, 2007
  17. ^ Saxon, Mark: "Head Start at USC", Orange County Register July 4, 2007
  18. ^ "O.J. Mayo Recruiting Profile". Yahoo! Sports. 2006-11-15. http://basketballrecruiting.rivals.com/viewprospect.asp?pr_key=16836&sport=2. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  19. ^ a b Ben Bolch,then was drafted as a senior Mayo blends in at USC, Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2007.
  20. ^ Ex-Mayo confidant says he gave USC star gifts including TV, cash
  21. ^ Retrieved on 2009-04-09.
  22. ^ "USC Trojans impose postseason ban, forfeit wins on NCAA rules violations". ESPN Los Angeles. 2010-01-04. http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/ncb/news/story?id=4792634. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  23. ^ "In Internet Era, Vacated Wins Do Sting". NCAAFB FanHouse. http://ncaafootball.fanhouse.com/2009/06/11/in-internet-era-vacated-wins-are-real-punishment/. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  24. ^ "Mayo heads to Memphis, Love to Minnesota", ESPN.com June 27, 2007
  25. ^ NBA.com
  26. ^ a b c d "Mayo says ‘energy drink’ led to positive test". Yahoo! Sports. Associated Press. January 29, 2011. http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=txgrizzliesmayosuspend. Retrieved January 29, 2011. "His troubles this season started Nov. 20 when he was late for a game-day shootaround, leading coach Lionel Hollins to take him out of the starting lineup against the Miami Heat." 
  27. ^ "O.J. Mayo suspended 10 games". ESPN.com. January 27, 2011. http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=6065824. Retrieved January 29, 2011. "He blamed an over-the-counter supplement that he didn't know was banned by the NBA for the positive test, but a team spokesman said Mayo declined to say which supplement he used." 
  28. ^ http://www.jsonline.com/sports/goldeneagles/117838948.html

External links

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