Edward Charles O'Bannon, Jr. (born August 14, 1972) is a retired American professional basketball player, known as a power forward for the UCLA Bruins men's basketball team on their 1995 NCAA championship team. He was the ninth pick in the 1995 National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft, selected by the New Jersey Nets. He spent only two seasons in the NBA, but continued his professional career for another eight years, mainly playing in Europe.
O'Bannon is the
lead plaintiff in , an O'Bannon v. NCAA antitrust class action lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
High school and college [ edit ]
O'Bannon averaged 24.6 points, 9.7 rebounds in his senior year at
Artesia High School. He led Artesia to a 29–2 record that year, and they won the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Division II state championship. He was the most valuable player (MVP) at the Dapper Dan Classic, a high school All-Star game, and he was named a McDonald's High School All-American as well as honored by as its national high school player of the year. Basketball Times [1 ] He originally planned to attend the [2 ] University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), but he did not sign a letter of intent with the university at the suggestion of UNLV head coach Jerry Tarkanian. However, when UNLV's men's basketball program was placed on probation due to recruiting improprieties, O'Bannon rescinded his commitment and instead attended UCLA. [3 ]
Six days before the official start of practice at UCLA, O'Bannon tore his
anterior cruciate ligament as he landed awkwardly on a dunk during a pickup game with other Bruins. [1 ] He was told he might not be able to walk properly again, but eighteen months later, after receiving a graft from a cadaver, he returned to playing basketball. [3 ] [3 ] In his first year, he came off the bench in 23 games and averaged fewer than four points while never starting. [4 ] In his second season in 1993, O'Bannon was named to the first team [5 ] All-Pacific-10 (Pac-10) Conference team. In his junior year, he was named the team's MVP [6 ] and was again first team All-Pac-10. [7 ] In his senior year in [6 ] 1994–95, O'Bannon was the key to UCLA's 1995 NCAA Basketball Championship, scoring 30 points and taking 17 rebounds and was named the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player. For the season, he averaged 20.4 points (.533 field-goal percentage, .433 3-point percentage) and 8.3 rebounds, earning him the [5 ] John R. Wooden Award, USBWA College Player of the Year (now Oscar Robertson Trophy), and the CBS/ Chevrolet Player of the Year. He was a consensus first team All-American, Pac-10 co-Player of the Year along with Damon Stoudamire, first team All-Pac-10 for the third consecutive year, [8 ] and UCLA's co-MVP along with [6 ] Tyus Edney. [7 ]
His number 31 was
retired by UCLA in 1996. He was also inducted into UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005, and the [8 ] Pac-12 Basketball Hall of Honor in 2012. [9 ]
NBA career [ edit ]
Leading up to the
1995 NBA Draft, O'Bannon hoped to be drafted by a team on the west coast. Selected ninth overall by the New Jersey Nets, he signed a three-year, $3.9 million contract. However, he became homesick. In his two professional seasons, he was unable to find a place in the NBA, being too lean to play down low and not quick enough with his rebuilt knees to guard the perimeter. [10 ] His knee also started to break down. [3 ] He averaged 6.2 and 4.2 points per game respectively with the Nets and was traded to the [10 ] Dallas Mavericks later in his second and final NBA season, where he had even less of an impact. In September 1997 he was traded along with Derek Harper to the Orlando Magic and released. "It wasn't injury, it was confidence," O'Bannon said about his NBA career. "I missed shots, got pulled from games, it affected my defense, and I lost all my confidence." Former Nets teammate [11 ] Armon Gilliam said, "He's a guy who didn't find his niche in the NBA. He wasn't in the right situation to grow and develop. He never got the opportunity to prove what he could do." [3 ]
Career in Europe and the ABA [ edit ]
After his NBA career, O'Bannon played professional basketball seven years overseas in
Italy, Spain, Greece, Argentina and Poland (in Anwil Włocławek, Polonia Warszawa and Astoria Bydgoszcz). He also played one year for the startup [3 ] American Basketball Association (ABA) with the Los Angeles Stars. After the NBA, he only had one-year contracts and never made more than $400,000 in a season. [10 ] He decided to retire at age 32 after undergoing [10 ] arthroscopic knee surgery. When he made his decision, he was in the process of trying out for a team in China but realized he had no more motivation to play the game. Furthermore, the people holding the tryouts had never even heard of him. [3 ] [11 ]
In his professional career, O'Bannon said he "played for 12 different teams in at least six countries and for 15 different coaches."
Subsequent career [ edit ]
As of 2009, O'Bannon was employed as a marketing director for a Las Vegas auto dealership.
In 2006, while employed as a salesman at the dealership, O'Bannon told the [13 ] , "People see me and remember me and I'm proud to tell them — 'No, I don't play. No, I don't coach. Yes, I sell cars.'" Los Angeles Times [11 ]
O'Bannon was a volunteer coach at
Green Valley High School in Henderson, Nevada. In 2009, citing a renewed interest in basketball due to his children, O'Bannon accepted an offer to become the head coach of the boys' basketball team at [12 ] Henderson International School in Henderson. [14 ]
Class action against NCAA [ edit ]
O'Bannon is the lead plaintiff in
, an O'Bannon v. NCAA antitrust class action lawsuit filed against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) on behalf of its Division I football and men's basketball players over the organization's use for commercial purposes of the images of its former student athletes. The suit argued that upon graduation, a former student athlete should become entitled to financial compensation for future commercial uses of his or her image by the NCAA. [15 ] In January 2011, [16 ] Oscar Robertson, considered one of the greatest basketball players of all-time, joined O'Bannon in the class action suit. On August 8, 2014, Judge [17 ] Claudia Wilken ruled that the NCAA's long-held practice of barring payments to athletes violated anti-trust laws. [18 ]
In March 2015, O'Bannon appeared in a faux commercial on
on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver HBO that criticized the NCAA's payment practices regarding student athletes. With March Madness approaching, the commercial featured a fake video game named March Sadness 2015 that mocked the experiences of college basketball players in relation to the NCAA. "This game is every bit as fucked up as the real thing,” stated O'Bannon in the segment. [19 ]
Personal life [ edit ]
O'Bannon attended UNLV to continue earning his
bachelor's degree. In the summer of 2011, O'Bannon returned to UCLA to complete his studies, and he graduated in the fall that year with a degree in History from UCLA. [4 ] [20 ] [21 ]
O'Bannon is the older brother of
Charles, who played with him at UCLA and went on to play for the Detroit Pistons.
O'Bannon lives in
Henderson, Nevada with his wife, Rosa, and their three children. [10 ] [14 ]
NBA career statistics [ edit ]
New Jersey 45
References [ edit ]
^ a b Bonk, Thomas (October 11, 1990). "O'Bannon of UCLA Suffers Knee Injury". . Archived from Los Angeles Times the original on March 12, 2011.
^ Crowe, Jerry (July 20, 1991). "O'Bannon Goes Full Speed Ahead". . Archived from Los Angeles Times the original on March 12, 2011.
^ a b c d e f g Gutierrez, Paul (March 18, 2009). "UCLA hero Ed O'Bannon". . Archived from Sports Illustrated the original on March 12, 2011 . Retrieved . March 12, 2011
^ a b Miech, Rob (December 10, 2004). "The GIFT". . Archived from Las Vegas Sun the original on March 12, 2011 . Retrieved . March 12, 2011
^ a b Penner, Mike (April 4, 1995). "Sweetness in Seattle". . Archived from Los Angeles Times the original on March 9, 2011.
^ a b c Finney, Ryan (2010). "2010–11 UCLA Men's Basketball Media Guide". UCLA Athletic Department. p. 105. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 10, 2011.
^ a b Finney 2010, p.110
^ a b Finney 2010, p.102
^ 2011-12 Hall of Honor Class Announced, Pacific 12 Conference, February 7, 2012
^ a b c d e Sheinin, Dave (June 14, 2009). "From the Court to the Sales Floor". . Archived from The Washington Post the original on March 15, 2011.
^ a b c Plaschke, Bill (April 3, 2006). "Shine Wore Off, but He Wasn't Lost in Moment". . p. D1. Archived from Los Angeles Times the original on March 11, 2011 . Retrieved . March 11, 2011
^ a b Pucin, Diane (March 15, 2005). "As Good as It Got". . Archived from Los Angeles Times the original on March 12, 2011.
^ Miech, Rob. (2009, January 4). " UNLV hoops notebook: A rude welcome to the MWC", Las Vegas Sun
^ a b Miech, Rob (June 17, 2009). "UCLA great to coach local high school basketball team". . Archived from Las Vegas Sun the original on March 12, 2011.
^ Streeter, Kurt. (2009, July 22). " Former UCLA star Ed O'Bannon leads suit against NCAA over use of images", Los Angeles Times
^ (2009, July 21). " Former Bruin O'Bannon sues NCAA", Associated Press
^ Wetzel, Dan (January 26, 2011). "Robertson joins suit vs. NCAA". . Yahoo! Sports
^ Strauss, Ben; Tracy, Marc (August 8, 2014). "N.C.A.A. Must Allow Colleges to Pay Athletes, Judge Rules". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 16, 2015.
^ Leeds, Sarene (March 16, 2015). "Watch John Oliver Take Down the NCAA With an ‘Authentic’ March Madness Video Game". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on March 16, 2015.
^ Guererro, Dan (January 24, 2012). "Word From Westwood - January 24, 2012". uclabruins.com. Archived from the original on April 3, 2012.
^ "Ed O'Bannon Returns To Westwood". UCLA Athletics. June 21, 2011. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011 . Retrieved . July 6, 2011
External links [ edit ]