By ROBERT LEE
Journal Sports Writer
BOSTON -- Gabe Pruitt has succeeded on the basketball court at every level in his life, so there is no reason why he can't succeed in the NBA.
At leas that's how Boston's president of basketball operations Danny Ainge feels.
After averaging 22 points per game as a senior at Westchester High School in Westchester, Calif. in 2004, Pruitt accepted a basketball scholarship to play at the University of Southern California, a Pac-10 power.
Pruitt made an immediate impact.
As a freshman, he led the Trojans in points (356), scoring average (12.3), three-point percentage (45 percent), assists (92), and steals (56), earning him a selection on the All-Pac-10 freshman team.
His three-point field-goal percentage set a school record.
As a sophomore, he finished second on the team in scoring average (16.9 points per game) while tallying 4.0 rebounds and 3.1 assists to earn All Pac-10 first team honors.
Pruitt missed the first 13 games of his junior season (academics) and finished third on the team in scoring average (12.5 points per game) when he returned.
After helping 5th-seeded USC advance to the Sweet 16 round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament where it fell to No. 1 North Carolina, 74-64, on April 27 Pruitt announced that he was entering the 2007 NBA Draft.
The Celtics selected him in the second round (32nd overall) and he spent much of last season with the Celtics D-League affiliate, the Utah Flash.
Pruitt earned a full-time position with the Celtics this season, but has only played in three games so far this season for an average of 5.0 minutes per game
If he gets an opportunity to play extended minutes, Ainge believes Pruitt will be productive.
"He's sees guys around the league that are getting an opportunity to play that he feels he's better than and I think that is a tough position to be in - when you know you are a [good] player and the opportunities are not there," Ainge earlier today on Boston Sports Radio Network WEEI.