Larry Hollyfield

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Larry Hollyfield
Hollyfield shooting with UCLA in 1972–73
Personal information
Born1951 or 1952 (age 72–73)
Listed height6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High schoolCompton (Compton, California)
CollegeCompton JC (1969–1970)
UCLA (1970–1973)
NBA draft1973: 7th round, 105th overall pick
Selected by the Portland Trail Blazers
PositionForward / guard
Career highlights and awards

Larry Hollyfield (born 1951 or 1952)[1] is a former college basketball player for the UCLA Bruins. He won three consecutive national championships with the Bruins from 1971 to 1973, and helped the school to a record 88-game consecutive win streak.

Hollyfield earned player of year honors playing high school basketball in California before playing one year in junior college, where he earned all-state honors. He transferred to UCLA, where he was a starter in his third and final season. From his junior year in high school through his final season at UCLA, Hollyfield's teams lost just one game while winning championships in each of his six seasons. In 1973 he was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) but never played for them. Instead he went overseas, playing during the 1975–76 season for ADB Koblenz in the German Basketball Bundesliga.

High school career[edit]

Hollyfield attended Compton High School, where his teams lost only three times in his career.[2] He won championships in each of his final two years with a combined record of 66–0.[3][4] In his senior year as a forward, he averaged 18.8 points in 30 games with a field goal percentage of 56 percent, and the Helms Athletic Foundation unanimously named him the 1969 California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Player of the Year.[5]

College career[edit]

Hollyfield played one season at Compton Junior College (later known as El Camino College Compton Center), where he averaged 22 points and was named to the all-state team. The team went undefeated at 33–0, and won the state title.[1][4]

He then transferred to UCLA for their 1970–71 season, when they won a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I championship.[6] Although he received minimal playing time during the regular season, he was ineligible for the postseason due to NCAA restrictions on junior college transfers.[7][8] In his junior year, the 6-foot-5-inch (1.96 m), 215-pound (98 kg) Hollyfield was described by UCLA coach John Wooden as "probably the greatest physical talent on the team".[1] However, the coach also said Hollyfield's mistakes and inconsistent play made him more suited for UCLA's bench where "he gives us a big lift."[1] A natural forward, he moved out of position to guard as a senior, replacing the departed Henry Bibby in the starting lineup. Sports Illustrated wrote, "The feeling was that Hollyfield had to be forced onto the starting five this season or be a detriment to the team."[2] That season ended with a championship over Memphis State in the 1973 NCAA Tournament, extending the school's NCAA record winning steak to 75; the streak ended at 88 after Hollyfield left.[9]

Hollyfield finished his UCLA career with a championship in each of his three seasons.[10][3] Since his junior year in high school, his teams had a combined record of 184–1 with championships in each of the six seasons.[3]

Post-college years[edit]

Hollyfield was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers in the seventh round of the 1973 NBA draft with the 105th overall pick,[11] but he never played professionally.[12] Bibby called Hollyfield "one of best players to go through UCLA and not make pros." According to his former teammate, Hollyfield played behind many great players at UCLA, but "he could have been an All-American on many other teams."[12]

When he was 32, he received a prosthetic left leg after a circulation problem in his left foot required amputation. In 2009, he suffered a stroke which left him partially paralyzed.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d "UCLA Reserve Pro Prospect". Lawrence Daily Journal-World. Associated Press. February 8, 1972. p. 11. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Kirkpatrick, Curry (February 5, 1973). "Who Are These Guys?". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Crowe, Jerry (May 14, 2009). "It's hard to disagree with TV analyst's take on the Lakers". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Stewart, Larry (January 27, 2006). "It Would Be the Return of Match Game 77". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014.
  5. ^ "Larry Hollyfield Named "AAAA" Basketball Player of Year as Compton Goes Undefeated" (PDF) (Press release). Helms Athletic Foundation. March 26, 1969. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 3, 2014.
  6. ^ Kirkpatrick, Curry (November 30, 1981). "Wise In The Ways Of The Wizard". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014.
  7. ^ Berger, Dan (April 8, 1971). "Don't Count Wooden's Whiz Kids Out Next Season". The Sun. San Bernardino, Calif. Associated Press. p. D-6. Retrieved May 30, 2015 – via access icon
  8. ^ Watts, Joe (February 28, 1973). "Tournament Committee Replies to Questions". The Daily Herald. p. 6. Retrieved May 30, 2015 – via access icon
  9. ^ Hoffarth, Tom; Painter, Jill (December 18, 2010). "REMEMBERING UCLA'S STREAK: Iconic run of 88 took Bruins and the nation on a roller-coaster ride". Long Beach Press Telegram. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014.
  10. ^ a b Haylock, Rahshaun (May 30, 2012). "Former Bruin Hollyfield still winning". Archived from the original on May 30, 2015.
  11. ^ "1973 NBA Draft". Retrieved February 1, 2014.
  12. ^ a b Dufrense, Chris (November 16, 2000). "Pursuing Perfection". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014.

Media related to Larry Hollyfield at Wikimedia Commons