The Arkansas native won NBA championships and Olympic gold during his career.
An emotional Scottie Pippen had his name and signature unveiled Monday on the court of the University of Central Arkansas’ Farris Center prior to the start of the 2021 Scottie Pippen Basketball Camp.
Pippen, who came to UCA’s Conway campus as a walk-on student manager from tiny Hamburg, Ark., in 1983, left as a two-time NAIA All-American and a lottery pick (No. 5 overall) in the 1987 NBA Draft. He went on to play 17 years in the NBA, winning six championships alongside Michael Jordan with the Chicago Bulls, one of the most prominent dynasties in professional sports. He also won two gold medals as part of the USA Dream Team and had his No. 33 jersey retired by both the Bears and the Bulls.
“It’s been a tough couple of weeks for me,’ said Pippen, who lost both his oldest son Antron and his college coach Don Dyer recently. “It’s not just about the floor, but it’s about some people that I’ve lost along the way. So it’s tough. But it means a lot. The hard work that I put in over the years, my dedication to the game. And this just gives me an opportunity to leave a legacy behind.”
Pippen saw his name displayed Monday on the court on which he starred from 1983-87, in front of the 180 campers and their families, along with Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, UCA president Houston Davis, UCA director of Athletics Brad Teague and UCA head men’s basketball coach Anthony Boone. The moment was not lost on one of the 50 greatest players to ever play in the NBA and UCA’s most famous alumnus, according to a press release.
“I want to thank my high school coach Donald Wayne, who gave me the opportunity to meet Coach Dyer, to meet Coach (Arch) Jones, to be part of the University of Central Arkansas,” Pippen said. “It was a dream for me to play in the NBA, to have an opportunity to play college ball. This university gave me the opportunity, and I took advantage of it.”
Pippen said he was grateful for the chance to have great teammates and meet a lot of great people.
“The University of Central Arkansas has been a guide in my life. This is my family,” he said.