March 13, 1964 |
|Listed height||6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)|
|Listed weight||235 lb (107 kg)|
|High school||Omaha Benson
|NBA draft||1986 / Round: 3 / Pick: 65th overall|
|Selected by the Atlanta Hawks|
|Number||53, 52, 42, 40|
|1988||Golden State Warriors|
|1993||New Jersey Nets|
|1993||Rapid City Thrillers|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
David Dirk Hoppen (born March 13, 1964) is a retired American professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and other leagues. Hoppen attended the University of Nebraska and is the school's all-time leading scorer. He was named All-Big Eight in each of his last three seasons and is generally considered one of the top players in school history. A 6'11" center, Hoppen was selected by the Atlanta Hawks in the third round (65th pick overall) of the 1986 NBA draft and played six NBA seasons.
High school career
As a junior, Hoppen led the Bunnies to a 21–4 record, averaging 15.8 points and 13.2 rebounds per game and was named first-team all-state. In the postseason, he led Benson to an exciting Nebraska Class A state finals. In the semifinal, the Bunnies outlasted Lincoln High School 64–62 in double-overtime. This landed the team in the state final, where they lost a hotly contested game to Creighton Prep, 54–53. Hoppen was named to both the class A and all-class tournament teams. In his senior season, Hoppen was again named first-team all-state after averaging 24.3 points and 12.5 rebounds per game.
The Nebraska high school class of 1982 is generally considered one of the best in state history, as the entire starting five accepted NCAA Division I scholarship offers – Hoppen and Mike Martz to the University of Nebraska, Kerry Trotter to Marquette, Ron Kellogg to Kansas and Bill Jackman became one of Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski's first recruits (though he later transferred to join Hoppen and Martz with the Cornhuskers). The team was so strong that future NBA player Bart Kofoed was relegated to the second team. On the national AAU circuit, these players formed the nucleus of the "Nebraska Basketball Development Association" team that was strong enough to finish fourth at a Las Vegas tournament. Hoppen's personal legacy as one of the top high school players in state history is shown in his presence on the Omaha World-Herald's 2005 list of the top 100 Nebraska athletes and his 1998 induction into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame.
Hoppen was highly recruited, with his finalist list consisting of Nebraska, Notre Dame, Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas and Colorado. He ultimately narrowed this down to a decision between Nebraska and Notre Dame. Notre Dame coach Digger Phelps focused his recruiting pitch on his ability to help Hoppen become a first round NBA draft choice, but the Omaha center ultimately chose Nebraska as a school where he could help establish a tradition.
Hoppen arrived at Nebraska in the Fall of 1982. The 6'11" center was a particularly highly anticipated recruit as the Cornhuskers had gone 16–12 the previous season with no starter taller than 6'6. He immediately entered the starting lineup for coach Moe Iba's 1982–83 team, averaging 13.9 points and 5 rebounds per game. The Huskers experienced team success with their new inside presence, finishing tied for third in the Big Eight Conference and earning a bid to the 1983 National Invitation Tournament (NIT). Once there, the Huskers defeated Tulane, Iona and TCU to earn a spot in the tournament final four at Madison Square Garden in New York City. However, the team lost their semifinal matchup to Ray Meyer's DePaul team, despite Hoppen scoring 15 points.
As a sophomore, Hoppen became one of the top players in the Big Eight Conference. He was one of only two players in the league (with Oklahoma's Wayman Tisdale) to score double-figures in each of his team's games, and was named first-team all-conference. He averaged 19.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game, again leading the Cornhuskers to the 1984 NIT. There, Hoppen propelled the Cornhuskers past in-state rival Creighton in the first round by scoring a game-high 25 points, including a basket and a technical free throw in the final seconds to seal the 56–54 victory. In the next round, Nebraska lost a close 58–57 contest to Xavier in Cincinnati, despite Hoppen's game-high 22 points.
Hoppen enjoyed a college rivalry with Creighton center and future NBA player Benoit Benjamin. While McDonald's All-American Benjamin was a much bigger name in national recruiting scene, Hoppen had some of his best games in match-ups against the Omaha school. Though a big man, Hoppen was known as a finesse player with a deft shooting touch. He employed a jump hook and a variety of other offensive weapons in the paint.
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
- Mills, Bobby (April 23, 2015). "The Nebraska High School Basketball All-State Project - Saluting 1981". McCook Daily Gazette. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
- Mills, Bobby (June 1, 2015). "The Nebraska High School Basketball All-State Project - Saluting 1982". McCook Daily Gazette. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
- Pospisil, Stu (March 16, 1984). "A century of high-fives in state hoops". Omaha.com. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
- "The Nebraska 100: #78 Dave Hoppen". Omaha.com. March 16, 1984. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
- "Dave Hoppen profile". Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
- "Omaha cage star headed for Kansas". The Salina Journal. December 10, 1981. p. 29. Retrieved September 25, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Sporting News 1982–83 College and Pro Basketball Yearbook, pg 96
- "Tigers want to keep trophy for fourth year". The Salina Journal. November 14, 1982. p. 17. Retrieved November 17, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "'Huskers dump TCU for place in semis". The Salina Journal. March 25, 1983. p. 12. Retrieved November 17, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "DePaul, Fresno State to clash for NIT crown". The Salina Journal. March 29, 1983. p. 9. Retrieved November 17, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Gosselin, Rick (March 6, 1984). "Sophomore center Wayman Tisdale of league champion Oklahoma and..." upi.com. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
- Gosselin, Rick (March 15, 1984). "Dave Hoppen Sank a Basket and a Technical Free Throw..." upi.com. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
- "Xavier Advances with 58–57 NIT Win". The Ledger. March 20, 1984. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
- Gosselin, Rick (March 16, 1984). "Nebraska center Dave Hoppen gets far more attention on..." United Press International. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
- McKeever, Curt (February 7, 2005). "Hoppen Still King at NU". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
- "Dave Hoppen college statistics at sports-reference.com". sports-reference.com. Retrieved November 17, 2015.