Anthony Erwin Randolph, Jr. (born July 15, 1989) is an American professional basketball player who plays power forward for the Minnesota Timberwolves of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Born in Germany to two parents who served in the military there, Randolph's family eventually relocated to the United States, where he grew up in Pasadena, California. The family later moved to Dallas, Texas, where Randolph soon became a standout at Woodrow Wilson High School, eventually being recruited by the Louisiana State Tigers. After one year, Randolph left college and entered the 2008 NBA Draft, where he was chosen as the fourteenth pick overall by Golden State.
Anthony Erwin Randolph, Jr. was born to Anthony and Crystal Randolph in West Germany, where both of his parents served in the military. Randolph spent the first year of his life in Germany before his family moved to Pasadena, California, where he spent the majority of his childhood. Randolph attended schools in Pasadena as well as Little Rock, Arkansas before heading to Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas, Texas for his junior year. Randolph's mother decided the school he was attending in Arkansas was not right for him because of the differences he had with the coach and in school. At the time he was a virtually unknown player. Pat Washington, Randolph's high school coach, stated that while Randolph was athletically gifted he needed a lot of work on skills such as ball handling, shooting, etc. Washington also spoke of a technique the team had in workouts called the "LAB," where the basic rules were that all players in play were required to never stop running under any circumstances, and if the ball was turned over at any point the player was to run back on defense immediately. The technique might have contributed to Randolph's later defensive prowess, as he has been known to hustle back after turnovers for defensive stops in his professional career. In high school, Randolph played all five positions on the floor. During his senior season, Randolph's team did not qualify for a playoff position, which coach Washington attributed to bad chemistry. Washington called the team very talented and referred to Randolph as the best player on the roster but stated that "as time went by jealousy and agendas set in and took over." Playing under coach Pat Washington, Randolph averaged 25.8 points and 12.6 rebounds as a senior. Although Randolph was named to the first team All-Area Dallas Morning News boys basketball team, played in the Reebok Round Ball Classic in Chicago and the Adidas Derby Festival Classic in Kentucky (leading all scorers in both games), he was not chosen to play in the McDonald's All-American Game his senior year.
Glen "Big Baby" Davis had just left Louisiana State University's (LSU) basketball team as well as seven-foot center Magnum Rolle, who transferred to Louisiana Tech, leaving the team with only two bigs, one being a junior college transfer. Due to this fact, LSU told Randolph that if he joined their team, he could possibly play right away as a freshman. Washington said that Baylor, Georgetown, Kansas, Memphis, and Texas were also interested in recruiting Randolph. Though Memphis was Randolph's early choice in the recruitment process, he wanted to attend a school where he could play big minutes, which he figured he probably would not get to do at Memphis since the team's roster was so deep at the time. Randolph made an impact in college right away, as he had six blocks in just his third game during his freshman season. During his lone season at LSU, Randolph earned Honorable Mention All-SEC and First Team All-Freshman Team honors. Randolph was the only LSU Tiger to start all thirty-one games in his freshman season, and averaged 15.6 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.13 steals, and 2.26 blocks per contest. Although the team only ended the season with a 13-18 record, Randolph finished strong by averaging 20.1 points during the last nine games of the year. Randolph also ranked third in the Southeastern Conference in rebounding and blocked shots, twelfth in scoring, and posted nine double-doubles his freshman season.