Paul Anthony Pierce (born October 13, 1977 in Oakland, California), also known as The Truth, is an American professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics of the NBA. He earned First Team All-America honors in his junior year at Kansas, and has been a starter every season since being selected by the Celtics with the 10th overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft. He is a nine-time All-Star, four-time All-NBA team selection and also led Boston to the NBA Finals in 2008, and 2010, winning the 2008 NBA Finals. He was named the 2008 NBA Finals MVP in his first trip to the NBA Finals. Pierce also is one of only three Celtics, alongside Larry Bird and John Havlicek, who have scored over 20,000 points in their career with the Celtics alone.
Pierce was raised in Inglewood, California where he was the star of Inglewood High School's basketball team during his junior and senior years. He also participated in the 1995 McDonald's All-American Game alongside future NBA stars Kevin Garnett, Stephon Marbury, Vince Carter, and Antawn Jamison, and was a contestant in the game's Slam Dunk Contest, which was won by Carter.
Pierce averaged 16.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in his three seasons at the University of Kansas, where he majored in Crime and Delinquency Studies, and earned MVP honors in the Big 12 Conference Tournament in both 1997 and 1998. Pierce played for Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams at Kansas. He entered the NBA Draft after his junior year and was selected with the 10th overall pick in the first round of the 1998 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics.