Luc Longley

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Luc Longley
Luc Longley.JPG
Personal information
Born (1969-01-19) 19 January 1969 (age 47)
Melbourne, Victoria
Nationality Australian
Listed height 7 ft 2 in (2.18 m)
Listed weight 265 lb (120 kg)
Career information
High school Scotch College (Perth, Australia)
College New Mexico (1987–1991)
NBA draft 1991 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7th overall
Selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves
Playing career 1991–2001
Position Center
Number 13
Career history
As player:
1986 Perth Wildcats (Australia)
19911994 Minnesota Timberwolves
19941998 Chicago Bulls
19982000 Phoenix Suns
2000–2001 New York Knicks
As coach:
2013–present Australian Boomers (asst.)
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points 4,090 (7.2 ppg)
Rebounds 2,794 (4.9 rpg)
Blocks 549 (1.0 bpg)
Stats at

Lucien James "Luc" Longley (born 19 January 1969) is an Australian retired professional basketball player. He was the first Australian to play in the NBA, where he played for 10 seasons.

Longley, playing alongside Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Toni Kukoc and Dennis Rodman, was the starting center during the Chicago Bulls' second "three-peat" championship seasons from 1996–1998, including the Bulls' 1995–96 season, in which they set an NBA record by going 72–10 during the regular season.

Early life[edit]

Luc Longley was born 19 January 1969[1] in Melbourne, Victoria. At age sixteen Luc was a member of the Australian Under-19 side and the following year, 1986, he joined the Perth Wildcats, with whom he played two games.[2]

College career[edit]

Longley was recruited out of Scotch College, Perth by the University of New Mexico's basketball coach, Gary Colson, who went to Perth to recruit Andrew Vlahov, who attended Stanford University.[3] Vlahov and Longley both played their junior basketball for the Belmont Redbacks District Basketball Club on the same team. Longley attended college at the University of New Mexico, from 1987 to 1991, where he averaged 19.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists in his senior year.[4] At nineteen he was a member of the national team for the Seoul Olympics, where they came fourth, the best result an Australian senior men's basketball team has achieved in Olympic competition.

When Longley returned home to Perth during college breaks, he regularly suited up for the Belmont Redbacks, helping the team to consecutive State Basketball League (SBL) championships in 1989 and 1990.

NBA career[edit]

Minnesota Timberwolves[edit]

Longley was drafted 7th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1991. He made his NBA debut on 30 November 1991.[5] In 1992 he again represented Australia at the Barcelona Olympics. After two plus mediocre seasons with the struggling franchise, the 7'2" (218 cm) center was traded to the Chicago Bulls for Stacey King late in the 1993–94 season.

Chicago Bulls[edit]

He went on to become the team's starting center. He won three straight championships with the Bulls from 1996 to 1998, becoming not only the first Australian player to play in the NBA, but also the first Australian to win a league championship.

Phoenix Suns[edit]

Following the breakup of the team after the 1997-98 season, Chicago did a sign-and-trade deal with Longley, sending him to the Phoenix Suns[6] for Mark Bryant, Martin Müürsepp, Bubba Wells, and a conditional first-round draft pick.[7] Longley spent two lackluster seasons with Phoenix, where he gained less attention for his play than for being stung twice by a scorpion while sitting on the floor of his home sorting through his arachnid collection.1 (Longley also had difficulties with bodysurfing; he managed to separate his shoulder and miss 18 games in 1997.[8])

New York Knicks[edit]

He was traded to the New York Knicks prior to the 2000–01 NBA season in what was only the second four-team trade in NBA history. The Suns acquired Chris Dudley as part of the deal together with a first-round draft pick from New York and an undisclosed amount of cash, while New York received Longley, Glen Rice, Travis Knight, Vladimir Stepania, Lazaro Borrell, Vernon Maxwell, two first-round draft picks (from the Los Angeles Lakers and the Seattle SuperSonics) and two second-round draft picks from Seattle. Seattle received Patrick Ewing and the Lakers received Horace Grant, Greg Foster, Chuck Person and Emanual Davis.[9] Longley spent one year with New York before retiring, due to a degenerative condition in his left ankle.[10][11]

NBA Statistics[edit]

Longley averaged 7.20 points and 4.90 rebounds per game in his 567 regular season game NBA career. Longley played more NBA games than any other Australian.


In 2001, he was inducted into the Australian Institute of Sport 'Best of the Best'.[12] Longley was part-owner of the Perth Wildcats basketball club in the Australian National Basketball League for several years and was the #1 ticket holder at the Fremantle Dockers in the Australian Football League between 2006 and 2007. In 2006 Longley was inducted into Basketball Australia's Hall of Fame in Melbourne.[13]

On 8 October 2009 Longley was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame at its 25th anniversary dinner in Melbourne, becoming only the fourth basketball player to be inducted along with Andrew Gaze, Michele Timms and Phil Smyth.[14][15]

Coaching career[edit]

In 2013, Longley was named an assistant coach of the Australian Boomers.


His father, Richard, an architect, represented Australia at international level in basketball,[16] including being a member of two Olympic squads.[17] His mother, Sue Hansen-Smith, is an equestrian who has been divorced from Richard since 1984 and resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.[3]

Longley has two brothers, Sam, a journalist and actor, and Griff, also a journalist and who also played briefly for the Perth Wildcats. Longley was married to an American, Kelly,[18] whom he met in New Mexico while he was attending college and they had two daughters, Clare Hanna and Lily Samantha.[19]

On 6 April 2007, Longley's $2 million[20] home in Fremantle,[20] Western Australia, was destroyed by a fire.[21][22] It is believed much of Longley's memorabilia from his basketball career was lost, although his three championship rings may have been spared.[20]

He married Anna Gare, a former musician and current television presenter, in 2008.[23]

In December 2009 Longley, who had participated in marine conservation efforts before, named a newly discovered shrimp species Lebbeus clarehanna after his 15-year-old daughter.[24]


  1. ^ "2007/2008 WAIS Yearbook and Annual Report" (PDF). Hall of Champions. Western Australian Institute of Sport. 2008. Retrieved 19 April 2010. 
  2. ^ "Wildcats Honour Roll". Perth Wildcats. Retrieved 19 April 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Kirkpatrick, Curry (24 December 1990). "Cool Hand Luc". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  4. ^ "Ex-Lobo Luc Longley Returns To His College Roots". Official Athletics site of The University of New Mexico. University of New Mexico. 7 January 2010. Retrieved 19 April 2010. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Smith, Sam (9 February 1999). "Longley's Exit Takes Him To A New Place With The Suns". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  7. ^ "Phoenix". New York Times. 24 January 1999. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  8. ^ Burns, Marty (17 March 1997). "Personal File". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  9. ^ Broussard, Chris (21 September 2000). "Knicks Send Ewing to Sonics As 4-Team Deal Ends an Era". New York Times. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  10. ^ Broussard, Chris (13 July 2001). "Longley has not made it official, but it looks like the end of the line". New York Times. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  11. ^ "Knicks cut Longley and pick up Burrell". New York Times. 26 September 2001. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  12. ^ Australian Institute of Sport 'Best of the Best'
  13. ^ "Ramsay a Legend, Timms inducted to Hall of Fame". 21 July 2006. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  14. ^ "Longley into Sport Australia Hall of fame". Basketball Australia. 9 October 2009. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  15. ^ "Five ex-AIS athletes honoured in the Sport Australia Hall of Fame". Australian Institute of Sport. 9 October 2009. Retrieved 20 April 2010. [dead link]
  16. ^ Shank, Ray (19 December 1967). "Loyla Cagers face Australians tonight". The Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 19 April 2010. 
  17. ^ "The Stadium & the City - Volume 1" (PDF). Major Stadia Taskforce. May 2007. Retrieved 19 April 2010. 
  18. ^ "Luc Longley Inspirational 2001" (50). Scoop Magazine. Summer 2009. Retrieved 7 April 2010. 
  19. ^ Armour, Terry (14 February 1996). "Longley may be out until Sunday". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  20. ^ a b c "Explosion woke basketball player". AAP. 7 April 2007. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  21. ^ "Ex-Bulls center, family safe following Friday night's fire". ESPN Sports. 7 April 2007. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  22. ^ Quartermaine, Brad (6 April 2007). "Longley gutted over lost home". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 10 August 2009. 
  23. ^ Szabo, Sarah (Autumn 2010). "Recipe for Happiness" (51). Scoop Magazine. Retrieved 7 April 2010. 
  24. ^ Madrigal, Alexis (4 December 2009). "7-Foot NBA Center Wins eBay Auction to Name Shrimp Species". Wired. 

External links[edit]