WASHINGTON — Here’s a thing that might surprise you: Former Wizards big man Kris Humphries used to be an elite youth swimmer.
And by elite, we’re talking among the best in the world. KL Chouinard of Hawks.com has revealed the following nugget, as well as the incredible fact that Humphries once dominated Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte in competition.
Check out the 10 and under boys times (starting on page 6) listed in the United States Swimming’s 1994-95 national rankings. Humphries had the best time in the following categories: 50-meter freestyle (27.71 seconds, more than two seconds faster than any other swimmer), 100-meter freestyle (1:02.39, more than two seconds faster than any other swimmer), 50-meter backstroke (33.24 seconds), 50-meter breaststroke (37.90 seconds), 50-meter fly (31.32 seconds), 200-meter individual medley (2:36.22).
Six events, out of 10 individual categories, that Humphries had the top time. His other finishes: second (100-meter backstroke), third (200-meter breaststroke), sixth (100-meter fly) and eighth (200-meter freestyle).
Phelps won just a single event, the 100-meter fly, and Lochte didn’t win any.
What’s more, Humphries’ times in the 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter freestyle and 50-meter backstroke were all national records for his age bracket at the time. According to Chouinard, his records in the two freestyle events lasted for more than 18 years — they have since been broken — and he holds state records in a dozen categories in Minnesota.
Humphries made it to the NBA, and Spotrac.com estimates he’s made nearly $57 million over 12 seasons, so it’s hard to knock him for his career choice. But considering how dominant of a swimmer he was as a kid, and how badly he beat Phelps (23 career gold medals) and Lochte (six gold medals), perhaps he missed his calling.