While basketball is certainly great now, there just seemed to be something about the 1990s that made basketball even better. Perhaps it’s just nostalgia goggles, but both professional and collegiate basketball were flat out fun to watch. There were some big names that came through the NCAA and wound up having fantastic NBA careers to make it even better.
You think of names like Gary Payton, Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson and Tim Duncan that not only made All-American squads in college, but also went on to have Hall of Fame level pro careers. However, that isn’t always the case for some of our favorite players from the decade that either didn’t make a big impression in the NBA or were completely forgotten after their college careers.
Now, we remember some of those players that seem to have been lost in the quick moving sports world. These players were all on All-American teams at least once during the 1990s, but weren’t really remembered for their pro careers. We’ll take a look at what made them great, and see what they are up to today. Here are 15 forgotten NCAA basketball stars of the 1990s and where they are at today.
15 Khalid Reeves
We start the list with a player that started his college career at the beginning of the 1990s with Khalid Reeves. The point guard from Queens lobbied to Lute Olson at the University of Arizona for a scholarship so he could get away from the cold weather. Reeves would get his wish and be a huge contributor for the Wildcats as he scored 848 points in his final season that culminated in a Final Four appearance.
Reeves spent a few years in the NBA with the Heat, Hornets, Nets, Mavericks, Pistons and Bulls from 1994 to 1999, but did not contribute much after being the 12th pick in 1994. Reeves would continue to play professional basketball, though, and retired in 2007. Since retirement, Reeves has returned to his home city of Queens and is on the coaching staff at his former high school, Christ the King Regional.
14 Miles Simon
Reeves isn’t the only guard from the Arizona Wildcats to make the list, as Miles Simon also seems to be forgotten by time. Simon was instrumental for the Wildcats as they won the 1997 NCAA Tournament where he was named Most Outstanding Player. The next year, Simon was named to the Consensus First-Team All-American squad with the likes of Paul Pierce and Antawn Jamison.
Simon would make it into the NBA for one season in Orlando in 1998, and then went overseas multiple times while returning to play semi-pro ball. After retiring in 2004, Simon was named as an assistant coach at the University of Arizona. Since 2010, Simon has gotten into media side of hoops and is a color analyst for Big XII Basketball on ESPNU.
13 Billy Owens
We have three players on the list that were First-Team All-Americans in 1991, but not many people remember their names. That’s because they were overshadowed by stars Larry Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal. The first of the three is Billy Owens, who spent his college career at Syracuse. Owens was the 1991 Big East Player of the Year and was drafted third overall by Golden State the same year.
Owens bounced around the NBA with several different teams for a decade before he played his final game in 2001. He then attempted to become an assistant coach in the NBA without much success. Now, he is enjoying a quiet retirement and has been quite reflective on his basketball career. As for his favorite moment of his career, he says that’s winning four state championships in high school.
12 Chris Porter
A transfer from JUCO school Chipola College, Chris Porter instantly became a big name when he got to Auburn. Porter helped the team reach the Sweet Sixteen, and it seemed they were headed for a national title run the next season. However, Porter would get suspended toward the end of his senior year for accepting money from an agent. The former All-American slipped in the draft and was taken 55th overall in 2000.
Porter would play just one season in the NBA with the Warriors in 2000-01. You might be surprised to know that despite not making a splash in the league, Porter is still playing professional basketball. There have been many semi-pro and international teams, and Porter was last spotted playing for the Hawke’s Bay Hawks (New Zealand) in 2016.
11 Harold Miner
Harold Miner dominated high school players in California and everyone was lining up with scholarship offers. Comparisons to Michael Jordan hyped Miner up big time, and he would end up with USC for the early 1990’s. Miner was a three-time All-Pac-10 player, the conference’s Player of the Year in 1992 and a first-team All-American the same year. Miner would then be the 12th overall selection in 1992 by the Miami Heat.
Miner did not last very long in the NBA (just four seasons), retiring due to knee injuries. Miner made plenty of money from basketball and public appearances, so he has been living quietly. Miner now lives in Las Vegas, Nevada with his family and has said that his career didn’t live up to his expectations.
10 Raef LaFrentz
Hailing from Monona, Iowa, Raef LaFrentz had superstar potential written all over. LaFrentz wound up at Kansas for his collegiate years, and was able to make the first-team All-American squad in both 1997 and 1998, the same years he won the Big 12’s Player of the Year Award. Though LaFrentz wouldn’t win the title that many thought he would, he became the third overall pick in 1998 by Denver.
LaFrentz spent just over a decade in the NBA, with around 10 points and six rebounds per game in his career. After retiring following the 2008-09 NBA season, LaFrentz moved back to his home state of Iowa. There, he has been living quietly in the country surrounded by a lot of land as he now owns a farm.
9 Dennis Scott
Georgia Tech isn’t known much for its basketball prowess these days, but Dennis Scott was there during a time when the squad reached the Final Four in 1990. Scott was named the ACC Player of the Year and College Player of the Year by Sporting News while being named to the second-team All-American squad. Scott was then drafted fourth overall that year by the Magic, where he spent a bulk of his NBA career.
Scott remained in the NBA with five other teams with the final three seasons of his career, retiring in 2000. If you follow the Atlanta Hawks or watch NBA TV, you might have spotted Scott as he works for both media companies. Still active more than a decade later, Scott is consistently putting out news around the NBA and offering his opinion.
8 Kenny Anderson
Another of the three first-team All-Americans on the list not referred to as Shaq or Grandmama is Kenny Anderson, Dennis Scott’s teammate from Georgia Tech. Anderson was a member of the Yellow Jackets from 1989 to 1991, making two All-American teams and two All-ACC teams during his college career. There was a lot of hype for Anderson, who went second overall in 1991’s NBA Draft.
Anderson actually made one All-Star team (1994) and averaged over 12 points per game in his career, but doesn’t seem to be remembered by the young fans as much. After retiring in 2006, Anderson got into coaching that included the CBA and even the short-lived Slamball. Anderson has also had his personal struggles, which were showcased in a 2016 documentary. He also went to North Korea with Dennis Rodman, so that could be seen as a problem by itself.
7 Trajan Langdon
More than any other college, Duke is the team that you absolutely love to hate. One of the many stars that have come through the university include Trajan Langdon, who was a three-time All-ACC player and two-time All-American. While at Duke, Langdon set the then-record for most career three-pointers and would end up getting drafted in both baseball and basketball.
Langdon decided to stick with hoops as the 11th pick in 1999, though he played for just three seasons with the Cavaliers before his NBA career ended. Langdon then went international and was still playing until 2011. Now, Langdon is working in the front office as the assistant general manager of the Brooklyn Nets. With the team toward the bottom of the standings, it’s hard to say how long he will be there, even if it has been just a year.
6 Pat Garrity
Notre Dame basketball fans will tell you that the 1990s weren’t always the best of times, but at least there was a shining star in the form of Pat Garrity. Garrity was a scoring and rebounding machine that won the Big East Player of the Year Award in 1997 and became an All-American the next season. Garrity was then drafted 19th overall in 1998 by the Bucks, and traded along with Dirk Nowitzki to the Mavericks.
Garrity spent a decade in the league as primarily a bench player, though he did have his moments. He then went back to school in 2009 at Duke and has gotten back into the NBA. In 2015, Garrity was hired by the Detroit Pistons where he was named the director of strategic planning.
5 Don MacLean
Not to be confused with the “American Pie” singer, Don MacLean made a big splash during his first year at UCLA, and only got better as time went on. MacLean would be a three-time All-Pac-10 player and a 1992 All-American, and is the highest scorer in UCLA history. MacLean did not reach the Final Four, but is a member of the UCLA Hall of Fame nonetheless and was drafted 19th overall in 1992.
MacLean spent nine season in the NBA with seven different teams, most notably the Bullets (now Wizards). MacLean retired after the 2001 season and has been working in media ever since. Some of the employers on his resume since playing include UCLA radio, Fox Sports and the Pac-12 Network, though he is most known now for being a Clippers announcer.
4 Calbert Cheaney
Choosing to stay in-state for his collegiate career by attending Indiana University, Calbert Cheaney became a big deal in the early 1990’s. Cheaney was a three-time All-American, and had his best season in 1992-93 when he was a first-teamer, as well as Big Ten Player of the Year and National College Player of the Year with an average of 22.4 points per game.
The Bullets made Cheaney the sixth overall pick in 1993’s draft, and he spent 14 seasons in the NBA with a total of five teams. Cheaney was a role player for most of his career, but it was a long career, indeed. After retiring in 2006, Cheaney went into coaching and was an assistant most recently from 2013 to 2016 at Saint Louis University.
3 Tony Delk
In 1996, the Consensus All-American First-Team included Ray Allen, Marcus Camby, Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson and Tony Delk. Though most would go on to great NBA careers, Tony Delk is the forgotten one of the bunch. Delk was a champion during that same year while he was at Kentucky, and then became the 16th overall pick by the Hornets.
Delk spent 10 years in the NBA with a multitude of teams, finishing his career with an average of 9.1 points per game. Delk played internationally after leaving the NBA in 2006, and then got involved in coaching. Delk went back to Kentucky to be an assistant, and then joined New Mexico State’s staff. Delk then decided that traveling and being across the country from his family wasn’t working out, so he moved back to Atlanta and took a broadcasting job with the SEC Network in 2014.
2 Shawn Respert
Even the youngest of Michigan State basketball fans likely know the name Mateen Cleaves, but they probably don’t know much about Shawn Respert (Pictured Right). Respert received a lot of honors in 1995 when he was named the Player of the Year by the NABC and Sporting News, also making the first-team All-American squad. Respert had his number retired by the Spartans and was drafted eighth overall in 1995.
Respert spent just four seasons in the NBA with four different teams, ending with the Suns in 1999. Respert then went overseas for a few years before retiring in 2003. After some time away from basketball, Respert returned to the game as a coach. Since 2011, Respert has been an assistant for both the Timberwolves and Grizzlies, and is director of basketball operations for the D-League.
1 Donyell Marshall
The final player on our list is former Connecticut standout Donyell Marshall, who was the Big East Player of the Year and All-American in 1994. Marshall joined the likes of Grant Hill, Jason Kidd and Glenn Robinson on the All-American squad. In 1994, Marshall decided to forego his senior season at UConn to join the NBA, and the Timberwolves drafted him fourth overall.
In his 15 years in the NBA, Marshall played for eight different teams and finished with an average of 11.2 points per game, but was never an All Star. Marshall then retired in 2009 and immediately started coaching. He made stops as an assistant at George Washington, Rider and Buffalo, but is now the head coach of Central Connecticut State, who had won just four games in the 2016-17 season at the time of writing.
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