Respert was a standout at Michigan State. He and point guardEric Snow combined to form one of the nation's most prolific backcourt tandems for head coach Jud Heathcote's Spartans. He was a unanimous first team All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year with a 25.6 scoring average during his senior season.
Respert was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1st round, with the 8th overall pick, of the 1995 NBA Draft. The Blazers traded his NBA rights to the Milwaukee Bucks for the rights to Gary Trent and a first-round pick. Respert was traded to Toronto in his second year, where he scored 5.6 points a game. He next played briefly in Dallas the next season and then had a second stint with the Raptors. Respert finished his career in Phoenix during the 1998-99 season. He was under contract with Los Angeles Lakers for a brief period in October 2000 but was waived before playing in any NBA games for them. In his NBA career, Respert played in 172 games and scored a total of 851 points on averages of 4.9 points in 13.7 minutes per game.
Respert had stomach cancer but did not admit it until 2005. He started being bothered with stomach cramps towards the end of his rookie season. He noticed a lump below his belly button even after changing his diet. Respert was diagnosed with cancer after undergoing a series of tests at Milwaukee's St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in May 1996. After confirmation through a second opinion, he underwent daily radiation therapy for three consecutive months, losing twenty pounds in the process. The only people who knew about this treatment were the Bucks' trainers, doctors, his coach Mike Dunleavy, Sr. and Michigan State backcourt partner Eric Snow. He only told a select few; not even his family and girlfriend knew, because "people don't want to hear excuses in pro sports, even if the excuse is cancer."
Respert became a volunteer coach at Prairie View A&M in Texas in 2004. Then in early 2005, he was hired to be Director of Basketball Operations at Rice University for 21⁄2 years. Next, Respert spent two years as the Director of Player Development of the NBA's minor league, the NBA Development League. In September 2008, he was hired by the Houston Rockets as the Director of Player Programs. On December 6, 2011 he was hired by the Minnesota Timberwolves as a player development coach. He was named an assistant coach by the Memphis Grizzlies in September 2013.