Basketball has always held a special place in the hearts of Arkansans, and the state’s flagship university, Arkansas University, has produced some of the finest basketball talents over the years.
- Sidney Moncrief: College Career: Sidney Moncrief, a true icon of Arkansas University basketball, had a stellar career from 1975 to 1979. A two-time Southwest Conference Player of the Year, Moncrief averaged 16.9 points and 8.3 rebounds per game during his time with the Razorbacks. NBA Career: Moncrief went on to have a successful career in the NBA, spending most of his years with the Milwaukee Bucks. He was a five-time NBA All-Star and won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award twice.
- Corliss Williamson: College Career: Corliss Williamson was a force to be reckoned with during his time at Arkansas University from 1992 to 1995. Known for his exceptional scoring ability, Williamson helped lead the Razorbacks to an NCAA Championship in 1994. NBA Career: Williamson enjoyed a fruitful NBA career, winning the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award in 2002 and earning a reputation as a reliable scorer off the bench. He played for several teams, including the Sacramento Kings and the Detroit Pistons.
- Joe Johnson: College Career: Joe Johnson, an Arkansas native, showcased his immense talent during his two seasons with Arkansas University from 1999 to 2001. Johnson averaged 14.2 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, leaving a lasting impact on the program. NBA Career: Johnson’s professional career was nothing short of impressive. Known for his scoring prowess and clutch performances, he earned seven NBA All-Star selections and played for numerous teams, including the Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets.
- Todd Day: College Career: Todd Day, a key player for Arkansas University from 1988 to 1992, was instrumental in the Razorbacks’ success. A versatile guard, Day averaged 17.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game during his college tenure. NBA Career: Day had a solid career in the NBA, playing for multiple teams such as the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics. While injuries hindered his progress, he showcased his scoring ability when healthy.
- Scotty Thurman: College Career: Scotty Thurman etched his name in Razorback lore during his time at Arkansas University from 1992 to 1995. Best known for his iconic three-pointer in the 1994 NCAA Championship game, Thurman was a skilled scorer and leader for the Razorbacks. NBA Career: Thurman’s professional career took him overseas, where he played in various international leagues. He displayed his shooting prowess and contributed to several successful teams during his time abroad.
- Alvin Robertson: College Career: Alvin Robertson made a significant impact during his time with Arkansas University from 1981 to 1984. A tenacious defender and skilled playmaker, Robertson’s all-around skills helped elevate the Razorbacks. NBA Career: Robertson’s NBA career was highly decorated. He was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 1986 and made four NBA All-Star appearances. His relentless defense and scoring ability made him a force to be reckoned with.
- Oliver Miller: College Career: Oliver Miller was a dominant presence for Arkansas University from 1988 to 1992. Known for his imposing size and shot-blocking ability, Miller was a crucial player for the Razorbacks. NBA Career: Miller played for several NBA teams, including the Phoenix Suns and Toronto Raptors. His shot-blocking skills and rebounding prowess earned him a reputation as a solid defensive anchor during his professional career.
- Bobby Portis: College Career: Bobby Portis, a standout player for Arkansas University from 2013 to 2015, made an immediate impact with his scoring ability and tenacity. He averaged 17.5 points and 8.9 rebounds per game during his sophomore season. NBA Career: Portis has had a productive NBA career, playing for teams such as the Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks. His relentless work ethic and scoring ability have made him a valuable contributor off the bench.
- Joe Kleine: College Career: Joe Kleine, a skilled big man, played for Arkansas University from 1981 to 1985. Kleine’s rebounding and shot-blocking prowess helped anchor the Razorbacks’ defense. NBA Career: Kleine enjoyed a long NBA career, playing for several teams, including the Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns. Known for his strong post play, he provided valuable minutes off the bench throughout his career.
- Ron Brewer: College Career: Ron Brewer, a standout player for Arkansas University from 1975 to 1978, was a key contributor during an era of success for the Razorbacks. His scoring ability and defensive prowess helped propel Arkansas to new heights. NBA Career: Brewer had a solid NBA career, playing for teams such as the Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs. His versatility and defensive skills made him a valuable asset in the professional ranks.
Arkansas University has been a breeding ground for exceptional basketball talent, and the ten players discussed in this article represent the pinnacle of success achieved by Razorback basketball. From Sidney Moncrief’s dominant college career to the NBA success of Joe Johnson and Corliss Williamson, these players have left an indelible legacy on both the college and professional basketball landscapes. Their skills, achievements, and contributions to the game will forever be remembered by basketball enthusiasts, inspiring future generations to reach new heights in the sport.