- Steve Stipanovich
infobox NBA Player
name = Steve Stipanovich
position = Center
height_ft = 6 | height_in = 11
weight_lbs = 245
nationality = American
birth_date = Birth date and age|1960|11|17|mf=y
St. Louis, Missouri
college = Missouri
draft_year = 1983
draft = 2nd overall
career_start = 1983
career_end = 1988
former_teams = Indiana Pacers (1983–88)
Stephen Samuel Stipanovich (born
November 17 1960, in St. Louis, Missouri) is a retired American professional basketballplayer.
A 7-foot center from the University of Missouri, Stipanovich was selected by the
Indiana Pacerswith the second pick of the 1983 NBA Draft. While healthy, Stipanovich was a somewhat consistent performer. However, kneeproblems limited his career to five seasons, and he retired in 1988 with career totals of 5,323 points and 3,131 rebounds. At Missouri, between November 1979 and March 1983, he and Jon Sundvoldhelped their coach Norm Stewartto four consecutive winning seasons and NCAA tournament appearances.
Prior to arriving at Mizzou, "Stipo" (pronounced stee-po) was the star center at DeSmet, a
Catholichigh school in St. Louis. During his three seasons on the DeSmet varsity squad (Stipanovich had begun high school at Chaminade College Preparatory School, and transferred to DeSmet after his freshman year), he won two Missouri State Championships.
Stipanovich struggled early in his college career, both personally and on the court. He missed a portion of his sophomore season after accidentally shooting himself while playing with a gun at an off campus party, and he was involved in a fight at a St. Louis area White Castle restaurant after another customer made disparaging remarks about his play.Before his senior year at Missouri, Stipanovich gave an interview to
Sports Illustratedin which he declared his intention to, essentially, "grow up." He began training harder, studying harder, and partying less. The results showed on the court, as Stipanovich averaged over 18 points and almost 9 rebounds per game, and dominated the Big Eight Conference. In a nationally televised game, Stipanovich and teammate Greg Cavenercombined to stop future NBA number one pick Ralph Sampsonand upset top ranked Virginia.
* [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/2005/06/24/gallery.nbabusts/content.13.html NBA Draft Busts - No. 8]
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