|Rio Grande Valley Vipers|
|League||NBA Development League|
June 12, 1974 |
|Listed height||6 ft 10.75 in (2.10 m)|
|Listed weight||265 lb (120 kg)|
|High school||C.E. King (Houston, Texas)|
|NBA draft||1996 / Round: 2 / Pick: 35th overall|
|Selected by the Seattle SuperSonics|
|Position||Power forward / Center|
|1998||Long Island Surf|
|2004–2007||Armani Jeans Milano|
|2008–2009||Spartak Saint Petersburg|
|2015–present||Rio Grande Valley Vipers (assistant)|
|Career highlights and awards|
Joseph Blair (born June 12, 1974) is an American former professional basketball player currently working as an assistant coach for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League. 2.10m (6 ft 10.75 in) tall and weighing 120 kg (265 pounds), he played as a forward and center. He was reputed for his spectacular playing style, notably as a member of the Harlem Globetrotters.
Blair played four seasons for the Arizona Wildcats of the Pacific-10 Conference in the NCAA Division I. He averaged 10.4 points and 6.5 rebounds per game during his collegiate career and participated in Arizona's two regular season Pac-10 championships in 1993 and 1994. He was a starter on the squad that advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 1994.
As of the 2014-15 season, he holds the program record for career field goal percentage (61;3%), also ranking eighth on the shot blocking records with 101 blocks.
Though he was drafted 35th overall in the 1996 NBA Draft Seattle SuperSonics, he didn't sign for the team and his agent engineered his release in 1997. A preseason game with the Chicago Bulls in 2007 was the closest he came to playing in the NBA, before being waived by the Bulls in October, less than two weeks after being signed.
He then moved to Europe, signing in France with Pau-Orthez for 1997-1998.
He moved to the Italian Serie A in which he would spend a good part of his career, with Biella, Scavolini Pesaro and Armani Jeans Milano, participating in the league All-Star Game in 2000, 2005 and 2006, and leading the league in rebounds in 1999-00.
He had an interlude with PAOK of the Greek Basket League in 2000-2001, he described it as "bad experience" due to salary arrears, he did not finish the season in Greece, instead playing for the Harlem Globetrotters again.
With another team, Spartak Saint Petersburg, the American was at the center of an less positive incident during a 30 October 2008 Russian Cup game against Lokomotiv Rostov. Allegedly to protect a teammate, Blair punched a Lokomotiv player, this started a brawl that led to many player ejections, leaving the teams with only 4 players each on the court (they finished with 3 each).
Blair returned to the Wildcats program for the 2013-14 season, serving as undergraduate assistant coach, helping the team's big men. For 2014-15 he was moved to graduate manager, in these roles he has been credited as helping Kaleb Tarczewski and Brandon Ashley realise their potential. He was not offered a position at Arizona University for 2015-16.
After being inspired by the youth camps run by the Harlem Globetrotters in which he participated, he founded the Blair Charity Group. Described as "a local charity group that focuses on Tucson’s youth", it declaredly provides free-of-charge "leadership and social-skill based basketball camps and clinics" around the area. Though basketball is at the center of the charity, it also aims to provide education and social skills to children, they remain feeless as to not deprive unprivileged children of an opportunity.
Two of Blair's three children were born in Italy, both with a former Italian girlfriend. After playing in three different cities in the country, he also speaks fluent Italian .
Since finishing his playing career in 2009, Blair has lived in Tucson, Arizona, where the University of Arizona is located. He returned to the university to finish his degree, which he obtained in 2014.
- "Men's Basketball- 2014-15 Coaches (Joseph Blair)."Arizona Wildcats. Retrieved on 9 June 2015.
- Johnson, K.C. "A real-life globetrotter."Chicago Tribune, 11 October 2007. Retrieved on 9 June 2015.
- "2007-2008 Chicago Bulls - the players."NBA. Retrieved on 9 June 2015.
- Lawlor, Frank. "Blair: 'I was in the magic circle'."Euroleague, 16 April 2002. Retrieved on 9 June 2015.
- "Euroleague 2001-02 awards."EuroLeague. Retrieved on 9 June 2015.
- "Euroleague 2002-03 awards."Euroleague. Retrieved on 9 June 2015.
- Johnson, K.C. "Delicate blend of basketball and boxing."Russia Today, 30 October 2008. Retrieved on 9 June 2015.
- Martinez, Danny. "Joseph Blair: Always a Successful Season."Arizona Wildcats, 7 february 2014. Retrieved on 9 June 2015.
- Rivera, Steve. "Joseph Blair no longer with Arizona basketball program."Fox Sports, Tucson, Arizona, 20 May 2015. Retrieved on 9 June 2015.
- "RGV Vipers Add Blair and Toppert to Coaching Staff". OurSportsCentral.com. October 14, 2015. Retrieved October 14, 2015.