Happy Birthday to Rex Chapman (@rexchapman)!

Rex Chapman

Rex Everett Chapman was born October 5, 1967, in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The 6-5 guard played for from 1986 to 1988. He went on to play for four NBA teams through his 12-year career in the league and later served as the vice president of player personnel with the Denver Nuggets.

 

A high school basketball star at Apollo High in Owensboro, Kentucky, Chapman was heavily recruited by many universities.  He chose, however, to stay close to home when he signed with the University of Kentucky.  Chapman was a star with the  Wildcats where he was named to the All-SEC Team during his

Rex Chapman

freshman and sophomore years. Chapman and Wildcat teammate and future NBA journeyman Winston Bennett helped lead to their 37th SEC title with a 27-6 record during his sophomore year.  The Wildcats were ranked   No. 6 in the nation by the Associated Press and UPI and secured the number two seed in the South region of the 1988 Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament.  Kentucky’s talents led the team to the tournament’s Sweet Sixteen, where they suffered a defeat against Villanova. Chapman scored 30 in a losing effort. Chapman amassed a total of 1,073 points in only two years at before opting to enter the NBA Draft.

 

Chapman was selected with the 8th overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft and became the first player ever signed by the Charlotte Hornets in the franchise’s history. Chapman was popular among basketball in Charlotte, as he averaged 16.9 points per game his first season there. He could not help the Hornets win many games, however, as the expansion team went 20-62 that year.  Chapman finished 6th behind Dominique Wilkins during his first NBA Slam Dunk Contest but during the 1989-1990 season, Chapman, along with his teammate Kendall Gill, entered the NBA all star dunk competition for the second time. Despite performing a two hands and two balls dunk stunt, he lost to the Celtics Dee Brown, finishing tied for second in the competition.  Chapman averaged 17 points per game that year, but the Hornets were not much better than a year earlier. After one-and-a-half more seasons with the Hornets, Chapman was traded midway through the 1991–1992 season to the Washington Bullets. He was injured, however, and could only participate in the final game of the season. This would turn out to be the first of a number of injuries that gave Chapman during the rest of his career.

 

Rex Chapman

Chapman is probably best known by basketball because of this one particular moment: the Phoenix Suns, up two games to one, were trailing the SuperSonics by three points with seconds to go atAmerica West Arena in Phoenix. With the inbounded ball seemingly on its way out of bounds, Chapman saved it and threw up a three-pointer, making the shot with 1.9 seconds left and sending the game into overtime. Despite this miraculous play, the Suns ended up losing the game, and the deciding game 5, and were eliminated from the playoffs.

 

Chapman played a total of 666 regular season NBA games, scoring 9,731 points for an average of 14.6 points per game, with 1,798 assists for an average of 2.7 assists per game, and 1,645 rebounds, for 2.5 rebounds per game.

 

Rex Chapman

After retiring from active play Chapman remained with the Suns, first as a scout and later as Director of Basketball Operations. For the 2004 and 2005 NBA Playoffs, he served as a color commentator on TNT. In 2005, he moved from Phoenix to accept a personnel scout position with the Minnesota Timberwolves. In 2006, he accepted the position of vice president of player personnel with the Denver Nuggets.  He was let go by the Phoeniz Suns organization on August 5, 2010.  You can find King Rex on Twitter.

 

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