Mark Gisbertz, 14, of Bakersfield gets one of the first autographs from Bakersfield High standout Robert Swift as an NBA player after he was drafted 12th overall by the Seattle SuperSonics on June 24, 2004. (CHRISTIAN PARLEY/THE FRESNO BEE)
So, whatever happened to Robert Swift — the 7-foot can’t-miss prep basketball star who went straight to the NBA?
Apparently he’s squatting in a $1 million home that he used to own in Seattle.
Swift played for Garces and Bakersfield high schools about 10 years ago and remains the Central Section career blocks leader with 622, per historian Bob Barnett. With credentials and size like that, he was scooped up by the Seattle Sonics with the No. 12 overall pick in 2004 (it was a big enough story back then that The Bee sent reporter B.J Anteola and photographer Christian Parley down the 99 to chronicle that special day).
Swift’s NBA and later overseas pro career never went far, mostly due to injuries, although he did reportedly earn about $20 million.
Now, Seattle TV station KOMO has reported he lost his home to foreclosure last summer and that it was sold in January. The new owner is ready to move in, but there’s one problem: Swift hasn’t left. The station’s reporter went to the home to talk to Swift, “but a woman who said she was his girlfriend said he couldn’t come out because he was asleep after taking pills.”
The owner has filed a summons and Swift has one more week to move.