|February 11, 2012||Posted by GoBigBlue under Rex Chapman|
It is no secret that basketball is taken very seriously in Kentucky. It's not just college basketball, but it trickles down to high school basketball as well. The Commonwealth loves the sport and can fall in love with the top players. In the 1980s, there was only one "King" of hoops in the Bluegrass State.
Rex Chapman was born October 5, 1967 in Bowling Green, KY. He would become a high school basketball star playing at Apollo High School in Owensboro, KY. After his senior season he was named Kentucky's Mr. Basketball for 1986. He also earned the Gatorade State Player of the Year award. He was also chosen as a Parade and McDonald's All-American.
He was heavily recruited by many colleges, but decided to play his college ball at the University of Kentucky. Although he only played 2 seasons at Kentucky, he continued to show fans why he earned the nickname "King Rex".
It took Chapman just two years to join Kentucky's 1,000 point club. He averaged 17.6 points a game his two years as a Wildcat. He was also selected to the All-SEC first team in 1987 and 1988. He was also the MVP of the 1988 SEC Tournament and was a Third Team All-America selection by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
In 1988, Rex decided to forgo his junior and senior years at Kentucky and entered his name in the NBA Draft. He would end up being selected eighth overall by the then expanding Charlotte Hornets. He would become the first player ever signed by the team. His rookie year he played in 75 games and averaged 16.9 points a game.
The 75 games would be the most he would play in a single season. He would struggle with injuries throughout his NBA career. He would end up playing for four different teams in his NBA career. In 14 years he played for the Hornets, Washington Bullets, Miami Heat, and Phoenix Suns.
Following another injury in the 1999-2000 season, Chapman retired after playing in 53 games for the Phoenix Suns. He would end up scoring a total of 9,731 points in his career.
Chapman stayed active with the Suns after he retired from playing. He worked as a scout and then was Director of Basketball Operations for the Suns. After the 2004-05 season he became a personnel scout for the Minnesota Timberwolves. In 2006, he moved to the Denver Nuggets and was named Vice President of Player Personnel. He served in that role until he was let go following the 2009-2010 season.
Rex Champion Dunk on the University of Louisville
Another Rex Chapman Dunk on Louisville