Throwback Thursday

This probably would’ve been more appropriate last week, but today’s Throwback Thursday link pays tribute to another prodigous freshman who once wore the blue and white: Rex Chapman.

Here we have a brief rundown of some of the finer accomplishments from Sexy Rexy’s playing days:

– 1986 Mr. Basketball of Kentucky

– Parade High School All-American

– McDonald’s High School All-American

– 1986-87 All-SEC First-Team 1986-1987 (Coaches)

– 1986-87 All-SEC Freshman Team 1987

– 1986-87 All-SEC Second Team (AP & UPI)

– 1987-88 3rd Team All-American (NABC, Basketball Times)

– 1987-88 All-SEC First Team (AP, UPI & Coaches)

– 1987-88 SEC Tournament MVP

– 1987-88 Academic All-SEC

– Drafted #8 Overall in the 1st Round of the 1988 NBA Draft by Charlotte

– First player ever signed by the Charlotte Hornets in the franchise’s history

– NBA All-Star Slam Dunk competition participant (Finished 6th and 2nd)

While Chapman’s NBA career was a bit up and down (although he certainly had his moments), the same can’t be said about his time spent at Kentucky.  Rex was the toast of the town during his two years in Lexington, thanks in no small part to the way he unapologetically defiled the defending National Champion Louisville Cardinals, at Freedom Hall, as a freshman, in front of a nationally televised audience, to the tune of 26 points on 5-of-8 shooting from 3-point range .

This article’s written shortly after Chapman’s coming out party in Louisville, and briefly touches on a subject that stings the ears of Kentucky fans whenever it’s spoken: Chapman almost ended up a Cardinal.  He was a U of L fan growing up, and said he would have played his college ball there had Joe B. Hall remained Kentucky’s head coach.  Needless to say, thank God we forced Hall’s underachieving ass out the door; beating Louisville like that almost makes all the NCAA violations worth it.

An excerpt:

“Seldom has an athlete merged a persona with a moment and created sheer magic—Joe Namath and the Super Bowl, Billie Jean King and Sex Tennis come to mind—as Chapman seems to have done with the three-point shot. (For an assessment of the three-point rule, see page 40). If he had arrived last year he would be just another fabulous phenom. This way, he’s seriously approaching manger material. On Saturday in Freedom Hall the son of Wayne Chapman, an ex-ABA journeyman who is the coach at Kentucky Wesleyan, made 5 of 8 attempts from the half-moon line and, with an insouciance bordering on disdain, looked as if he wished he could fire off 80 more. And in his national TV debut, at that.”

Some highlights:

SI: A Wild New Cats’ Meow


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