Elton Tyron Brand (born March 11, 1979 in Cortlandt Manor, New York) is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was the 1st overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft, selected by the Chicago Bulls.
At the age of thirteen, Brand enrolled in Peekskill High School, where he was immediately added to the varsity basketball roster. He averaged 40 points and 20 rebounds per game, played AAU basketball with future NBA players Lamar Odom and Ron Artest, and by his senior year he was consistently ranked among the top high school basketball players in the country and was selected as New York State Mr. Basketball. At the same time, he became something of a cult hero in Peekskill, helping his team win two state championships while demonstrating a humble calm and an articulate intelligence. The former Governor of New York, fellow Peekskill native George Pataki, was once asked about being the town's favorite son, and he answered that Peekskill's favorite son was not the Governor but Elton Brand. Recruited heavily after his successful high school career, Brand decided to enroll at Duke University alongside a cluster of other high school stars, including Shane Battier.
As a sophomore, Brand was the dominant inside presence for a Duke team that is widely regarded as one of the most talented teams in recent NCAA history. After leading the Blue Devils to the championship game of the Final Four—where they were upset by the University of Connecticut—Brand was named the consensus National Player of the Year. He subsequently decided to leave Duke after his sophomore season and apply for the NBA draft, where he was selected by the Chicago Bulls with the first pick. Brand, along with William Avery and future teammate Corey Maggette, was one of the first players in Duke basketball history to leave school early for the NBA Draft. All three entered the 1999 NBA Draft instead of returning to Duke.