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Best Local Athlete

Shareef Abdur-Rahim

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Forward, Atlanta Hawks

www.nba.com/hawks
Wait'll you see this guy play. He's 6-foot-9 of elegant athleticism. He's the kind of all-around player who can put the ball on the floor, shoot down low and from the outside, battle big men for rebounds and sell jerseys. The Hawks traded for the 25-year-old last spring, six years after he'd graduated from Wheeler High in Marietta. Abdur-Rahim gives the Hawks a large small-forward or a fast power-forward, with a great all-around game. He averaged 20.5 points and 9.1 rebounds last year (typical for his five-year career), but also had plenty of assists, steals and blocked shots. By all accounts he's a wonderful teammate, who works out during the off-season, which means he's likely to be fit in training camp. Joining two other young stars - Jason Terry and Theo Ratliff -- as well as veteran winner Toni Kukoc, Abdur-Rahim instantly upgrades the young team to playoff caliber. He give the Hawks their first bona fide superside since Dominique was traded.

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