Growing up, like most adolescent males, I loved college hoops. During the 90’s, when Dick Vitale was just beginning to get annoying, I could not wait to see all of the up-and-coming stars on Big Monday or skip school during the first two days of the NCAA tourney, so I could watch games and fill out brackets. From time to time I wonder where some of those stars of that bygone era have gone. With that in mind, I picked a few memorable names from the past, and with a little research, tried to find out where they are today.
Lawrence Moten – Syracuse Orangemen, 1991-1995
Who could forget the high socks? If it is one thing that is synonymous with Moten it has to be his high socks. During a time when the Fab Five were wearing black socks, Moten made it fashionable to rock jacked-up white tube socks. After arriving at Syracuse in 1991, Moten took the Big East by storm and was named conference Freshman of the Year. Over the next three seasons, he was named First-Team All Big East each season and left Syracuse as their all-time leading scorer along with being the Big East’s all-time leading scorer. His NBA career was dealt a serious blow when he was drafted by Vancouver in the 2nd round of the 1995 draft. After seeing very limited action, he left to play overseas, as well as the CBA and ABA until 2006. In 2007, he began his post playing career working as the VP of Player Development for the ABA’s Maryland Nighthawks. Currently, he works as a physical education teacher in Maryland.
Doron Sheffer – UConn Huskies, 1993-1996
Doron Sheffer is described as one of the best basketball players to ever come out of Israel. Sheffer led his Israeli Club Team to the Israeli Championship in 1990 beating Maccabi Tel-Aviv, which had won the championship 39 of the prior 40 years. Eventually, after a mandatory three year stint in the Israeli Army, he decided to attend UConn. He was highly regarded coming into the college, having been recruited by teams such as Kentucky, Temple, and Miami (OH). Over the course of his career, he helped lead the Huskies to three straight Big East titles and finished with over 1,000 points and over 500 assists. Doron was selected by the L.A. Clippers in the 2nd round of the 1996 NBA draft, but turned down the opportunity to return to Israel and play for Maccabi Tel-Aviv. During his time there, he helped lead them to four straight league titles. He abruptly retired from basketball in 2000 and began traveling the world. During this hiatus, he overcame a cancerous tumor, and announced his return to basketball in 2003 with Hapoel Jerusalem, which won the 2004 ULEB Eurocup. He hung up his sneakers for good after the 2006 season. Currently, Sheffer is retired and now is coaching basketball and teaching Judaism in Israel.
Scotty Thurman – Arkansas Razorbacks, 1992-1995
You might remember Scotty Thurman for his game-winning three point shot against Duke in the 1994 NCAA title game, but you also may remember Thurman as a guy who left school after his junior season anticipating being taken in the first round of the 1995 NBA draft. There was only one problem, he did not get selected at all. Thurman was one of the best players ever to take the court at Arkansas. He averaged over 15.0 PPG in each of his three seasons as a Razorback. He is still number ten on Arkansas’ all-time scoring list 18 years after he left. After being told by an agent and his coach, Nolan Richardson, that he would be a first round pick in 1995, he left early. Unfortunately he wasn’t drafted, he tried out for the New Jersey Nets, but got cut had to settle for playing with the CBA’s Shreveport Storm. After that he played in Europe and Asia for 11 seasons. During his off time, he completed his college degree in 2003 and started working in real estate but he eventually returned to basketball. In 2009, he started as an assistant at Arkansas and currently works as the Director of Student Athlete Development for the Razorbacks.
Yinka Dare – George Washington Colonials, 1992-1994
The story of Yinka Dare is fairly incredible. Dare did not pick up a basketball until the age of 16, nor did he even know how tall he was, but once he found the court the game came rather quickly. His meteoric rise started after he was discovered in Nigeria by an assistant coach at George Washington. Within a few months, he was headed to Connecticut to play basketball at a prep school. George Washington offered him a scholarship the next season, and after his initial campaign, Sports Illustrated named him Freshman of the Year. After one more season, Yinka tested the NBA waters and was drafted 14th overall by the New Jersey Nets (great move Coach Calipari.) Unfortunately, that is where his rise ended. He tore his ACL thre minutes into his first NBA game and never fully recovered. He was no John Stockton, either, and held the dubious distinction of playing an entire season without an assist (58 games). Despite that, he still appeared in NBA Jam Tournament Edition. He lasted in the league until 1998, and then bounced around the CBA for a number of years. Tragically, in 2004, while making a comeback attempt, Dare suffered a fatal heart attack caused by a previously diagnosed heart ailment at just 32 years old. RIP Yinka!
Darvin Ham – Texas Tech Red Raiders, 1993-1996
You may have not heard the name Darvin Ham in a while, but I’m sure many college basketball fans will remember this glass shattering dunk. That dunk changed the momentum of the game and helped the Red Raiders defeat UNC and make a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 1996. Although Ham never filled up the stat sheet in college, he was signed as a free agent in 1996 by the Denver Nuggets. He went on to play for six NBA teams before retiring in 2005. As an NBA player, he was sparsely used, but he could still dunk. He competed in the 1997 NBA Dunk Contest finishing below Bob Sura. Following the 2004-2005 season, he bounced around the minor leagues of basketball for a few years. He took as job as an assistant coach, and then as a head coach, for the Albuquerque Thunderbirds of the NBA D-League. He eventually parlayed that into gig into an assistant coaching stint with the L.A. Lakers, where he currently resides. With the way the Lakers are playing this season, he may be looking for another job soon.
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