Jason Kidd Became a Basketball Legend At This Tiny High School

This is "Saint Joe's," the tiny Catholic high school on the tiny San Francisco Bay island of Alameda where Jason Kidd became a legend. It was here, playing for the St. Joseph Pilots, that Kidd first took a team to the championships.

By the time the Pilots won the state title in 1991, the team was too big for this little campus—the entire school fits onto most of one narrow block and the tail end of another one, surrounded by Alameda's famous Victorian homes and leafy streets. Games moved to the Colosseum in Oakland to fit the huge crowds who wanted to see Kidd and his teammates.


The school reportedly made a lot of money selling Jason Kidd Pilot jerseys in the 1990s, and he's still the most famous graduate. College scouts were already watching Kidd before he came to Saint Joe's, and he baffled the whole college basketball industry by choosing nearby Cal Berkeley over all the NCAA champion teams trying to get sign him up.

Today, the primary reminder of Kidd's time at St. Joseph's in the early 1990s are all the hoops lining the church parking lot that doubles as the ball court. There are a half dozen, and the parish killjoys reliably lock the hoops every evening to prevent neighborhood kids from practicing and having fun where Jason Kidd used to play.


I've been walking through and around this campus since I moved to Alameda not so long ago, and only with all the stories about Kidd's retirement did I realize he played for the Pilots half a block from my current house.

Share This Story