Before Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen helped the Bulls achieve some of the greatest success the NBA has ever seen, he was an unknown lengthy walk-on at Central Arkansas University.
Roughly two hours from Pippen’s hometown, The Bears were the only college team to give him a chance, and it was that chance that turned Pippen into the No. 5 pick in the 1987 NBA Draft. So when the university officially dedicated its basketball court to the Hall of Famer on Monday morning, the flood of tears came as no surprise.
“It was a dream for me to play in the NBA, to have the opportunity to play college ball,” Pippen told the auditorium while working through tears. “This University gave me the opportunity. I took advantage of it and everyday I’m grateful for that opportunity … This is my family.”
Here is the first look and the new Scottie Pippen Court:
"But all of that started on this Farris Center court." –@ScottiePippen
— UCA Men's Basketball (@UCAMBB) June 14, 2021
Scottie Pippen Court pic.twitter.com/9zJ0o9oYgg
— Andy Robertson (@andy1robertson) June 14, 2021
And here is an emotional Pippen accepting the honor:
"This is my family." – @ScottiePippen @UCAMBB renamed it's basketball court to 'Scottie Pippen Court'. After his first born son and college basketball coach passed away earlier this year, Pippen said this meant a lot. @FOX16News @KARK4News pic.twitter.com/24qck26fpa
— Troy Lynch (@mrtroylynch) June 14, 2021
That heartfelt reaction says it all. Perhaps we will learn even more about Pippen’s relationship with his alma mater in his new autobiography, which is set to hit shelves later this year.
Pippen will now remain in town over the next few days to host the 2021 Scottie Pippen Basketball Camp. The event runs from June 14-17th and is open to hoopers who range from 2nd to 12th grade.