Jason Richardson is one of the most electric basketball players in Saginaw County history. Known as a tireless worker, great leader, and a fierce competitor. His rare leaping ability provided Saginaw County residents with unforgettable memories. A three-quarter court alley hoop slammed home by Richardson, at the Saginaw Civic Center in front of a sold out crowd, is one of the most iconic plays of the Saginaw High/Saginaw Arthur Hill basketball rivalry. Jason was voted the Saginaw’s Area Greatest High School Dunker and the state of Michigan’s Greatest High School dunker in February of 2020 by MLive.com.
Richardson is a graduate of Arthur Hill High School in 1999. Coached by Dave Slaggert, Richardson was an All-Saginaw Valley League performer in basketball. Earning 2nd team in 1998 and 1st team in 1999. The 1999 season would be one to remember for Richardson. The Detroit Free Press and Detroit News named him Class A First Team All-State (1998-99). The Saginaw News voted him to the “Dream Team” (1998-99). Richardson would be awarded 1999 McDonald’s All-American honors, voted 1999 Parade All-American Second Team, named Mr. Basketball for the state of Michigan for 1999, all while leading the Lumberjacks to the 1999 Class A State Finals falling just short to Ann Arbor Pioneer for the state championship, earning State Runner Up honors.
Upon graduation, Jason was one of the top-rated high school basketball players in the country. Richardson decided to play basketball for hall of coach fame coach, Tom Izzo, at Michigan State University. After only playing two seasons at MSU, Richardson would win a national championship in 2000 as key reserve and helping lead MSU to a Final Four appearance in 2001. The 2001 season at MSU, would be one to remember for Richardson, earning All-Big-Ten 1st Team and Second Team All-American honors.
After completing the 2001 season at Michigan State, Richardson declared for the NBA Draft and was selected in the 2001 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors in the 1st Round with the 5th overall pick. In the 2001-2002 NBA season, he would be named All-Rookie First Team, Rookie Challenge MVP, and Slam Dunk Champion. Richardson was also the Slam Dunk Champion in 2003.
Playing for Golden State from 2001 to 2007, Jason would play a total of 14 seasons in the National Basketball Association. He would spend seasons with the Charlotte Bobcats, Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, and Philadelphia 76ers. Over the course of his NBA career, Richardson totaled 14,644 points, 4,265 rebounds, 2,284 assists, and 1,608 three points made. Giving him career averages of 17.1 points per game, 5 rebounds per game, and 2.7 assists per game.
Off the court, Jason is known for his amazing personality and always giving back to Saginaw County. Through the years, he has held basketball camps, charity basketball games, given countless donations, and supported the United Way.
A class act on the court and off the court, congratulations to 2023 Saginaw County Sports Hall of Inductee, Mr. Jason Richardson.