Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wednesday Where Are They Now?: Shawn Respert

Ever wonder what happened to those college stars that couldn't catch on in the NBA? The guys that put up the great numbers or the guys that left early, and were never heard from again? Every Wednesday, we at BIAH will take a look at a former college star that never made it in the NBA, and we will update you on where he is playing or what he is doing. We're guessing the results will surprise you. To request a player, leave a comment in the comments section.

Shawn Respert

The 6'1", 185 lb Respert was a standout scoring guard for Michigan State from from 1991-1995, teaming with Eric Snow to provide one of the best backcourts in the history of the Big Ten. He averaged 21.3 ppg on 46% 3 PT shooting for his career, on his way to an MSU record 2,531 points and 331 three pointers. During his senior year, Respert averaged 25.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg, and 3.0 apg and shot 48% from 3 en route to Big Ten Player of the Year and unanimous 1st Team All-America honors, but the Spartans lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament to 14 seed Weber State.

After he graduated, Respert was taken with the 8th pick in the 1995 draft by Portland, but was traded before he could suit up to Milwaukee for Gary Trent and a 1st round pick. Respert would have a disappointing NBA career, averaging only 4.9 ppg in four seasons with Milwaukee, Toronto, Dallas, and Pheonix. After the 1998-99 season, where he played in just 12 games with Pheonix, Respert headed over to Europe where he played for four seasons in Italy, Greece and Poland before retiring.

Given the hype Respert had coming out of college, and how high he was selected, many people have listed him as one of the biggest busts in NBA Draft history. But what those people didn't know, and what no one knew until a 2005 interview with the AP, is that Respert battled stomach cancer throughout his career, starting his rookie season. Respert kept his illness a secret from everyone except the Bucks trainers, doctors, and the GM Mike Dunleavy in order to avoid excuses for his sub-par performances. He lost 20 pounds during three months of radiation before his second season and his cancer went into remission, and hasn't come back, but he still could not rejuvenate his basketball career.

Once he retired as a player, Respert took a volunteer job with Prarie View A&M before landing a position as the Director of Basketball Operations at Rice. Currently, he is working as the Director of Basketball Operations for the NBDL.


Anonymous said...

bootsy thornton or marcus hatten

Rob Dauster said...

I already have one written up for tomorrow's WATN, but I will get to one of them next week.