CONWAY, Ark. — When the University of Central Arkansas Bears take the court this winter, fans and players will be reminded of the program’s most successful graduate.
On Monday, the University of Central Arkansas honored Scottie Pippen, the school’s most accomplished basketball alum, by renaming its basketball court after him to tip off the Scottie Pippen Basketball Camp.
“We were doing some work to the court anyway,” UCA president Houston Davis said. “We said the time is right to put the stencil down on the court.”
“And every day, I’m thankful for that opportunity,” Pippen, a six-time NBA champion, said. “The opportunity to have a lot of great teammates, to meet a lot of great people. The University of Central Arkansas has been a guide in my life. This is my family.”
Pippen grew up in Hamburg, Arkansas, and walked on at UCA as a student manager and four years later was a two-time all-American. He was selected fifth overall in the 1987 NBA draft by the Seattle Supersonics and went on to win six championships and two Olympic gold medals while playing for the Chicago Bulls.
“I put in the work, I wanted to be remembered when I left here,” Pippen said. “This is a great way of being honored for it.”
The court’s new name comes just a month after the passing of Don Dyer, Pippen’s coach at UCA, and a month and a half after the death of Pippen’s first-born son, Antron.
“It’s not just about the floor,” an emotional Pippen said. “It’s about the people that I’ve lost along the way. Coach Dyer, my son. It’s tough, but it means a lot.”