Bulls Legend is New Namesake of Central Arkansas Basketball Court

scottie pippen

Getty Retired NBA legend Scottie Pippen.

Nearly 40 years after first attending the university, Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen was given an honor from his alma mater on Monday.

The University of Central Arkansas unveiled the newly-named Scottie Pippen Court at its Farris Center before kicking off the 2021 Scottie Pippen Basketball Camp. The court will now feature a graphic featuring Pippen’s signature and the new name. It is the same court that Pippen played on during his collegiate career at Central Arkansas.

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“It’s a great feeling,” Pippen said during the court unveiling. “It’s nothing that I set out to do. You dream of playing the game and being the best at it. To be able to have other people look upon your game, what you’ve done over your career, is special, to be honored this way. And I’m just truly grateful for it. It’s a great honor.

“I wanted to be remembered when I left here and this is a great way of being honored for it.”

He also acknowledged that the court namesake provides him with the chance to “leave a legacy behind.”

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Pippen’s Basketball Career at Central Arkansas

Pippen’s time at the University of Central Arkansas began in 1983. He started there as a walk-on student manager for the then-NAIA team before becoming one of the program’s all-time greats.

Coming out of high school, Pippen did not receive any scholarship offers, but he joined UCA after then-head coach Don Dyer discovered him. A native of Hamburg, Arkansas, Pippen ended up playing for the Bears till 1987 before being taken by the Seattle SuperSonics and then traded to the Bulls as the No. 5 overall pick in the 1987 NBA draft.

“It was a dream for me to play in the NBA, to have an opportunity to play college ball,” Pippen said. “This university gave me the opportunity, and I took advantage of it.”

He referred to Central Arkansas as a “guide in (his) life” and his “family.”

During his four seasons at Central Arkansas, Pippen earned first-team NAIA All-America honors two times.

According to the official UCA Athletics website, he played 93 total games for the Bears and scored 1,600 total points — enough for sixth all-time amongst other men’s basketball players in the program. He also grabbed 749 total rebounds and dished out 253 total assists. His 186 steals over the course of four seasons ranks second all-time in Central Arkansas men’s basketball history.

In 2010, Central Arkansas retired Pippen’s No. 33 jersey. In 2015, he joined the UCA Sports Hall of Fame.

Pippen to Reveal More Details About Central Arkansas Days in Upcoming Book

On Nov. 16, 2021, Pippen is set to release a memoir titled “Unguarded.”

Written with award-winning sports writer Michael Arkush, the book is being marketed as his journey to becoming “an essential component of the greatest basketball dynasty of the last fifty years.” However, the book’s page on Simon & Schuster’s website also mentions that the book will detail his upbringing in Hamburg, Arkansas, and how Pippen was overlooked by major colleges. This will provide context for how Pippen became the basketball great he has become known as.

Pippen’s book is available now for preorder.

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