The blood lines of former NBA players has strong ties to the current college basketball landscape. From NBA players who filled out the final spot of a 12 man roster, to the stars of the 1990s, college basketball has plenty of second generation representation.
Let’s start with the college hoops players who are having an impact of this NCAA season and undoubtedly making their NBA dads proud.
Ron Harper senior played for one of the best NBA teams ever, the 1996-1997 72 win champion Chicago Bulls. This midseason, Ron Harper Jr. emerged as his own special talent. His Rutger Scarlet Knights were a likely tournament team in the lost 2019-2020 season. This year, they are a mainstay in the top 25. And Harper Jr.’s play is a major reason why. He was even named ESPN’s Player of the Week in late December.
The Big 10 has another second generation player who is part of what could be a special season. Illinois basketball fans will remember Frank Williams Senior. The point guard went on to play for the New York Knicks, among other teams. Today, his son Da’Monte Williams is quietly steadying a Illini ship that could easily sail into a Sweet 16. The younger Williams doesn’t get a lot of national hype as his backcourt mate Ayo Dosunmo gets national publicity and NBA Draft hype. Yet, Williams is a solid starter who always plays major minutes, is a tough defender, and contributes in a variety of ways. The Duke win in the early season shows the traditional story. Williams contributed a stat line of 10 points, 3 rebounds, an assist and 2 steals with no turnovers. Final Four teams have players like Da’Monte Williams.
Below are some other sons of NBA players you might spot in the college game.
Shaq and Penny have kids in college hoops
There is no Blue Chips type of drama with where Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway sons are going to school. The young pups are following in pop’s path. Shaquille’s son Shareef O’Neal is rocking a jersey in the thirties with his father’s alma mater. Penny’s son quite literally followed his father to Memphis, as it’s now a father-son, coach-player arrangement. Jayden Hardaway even wears the number one.
Thinking of the mid-1990s Orlando Magic might remind you of the Eastern Conference Playoffs against the Bulls. Check out a box score from their infamous 1995 series. About half of the players have had sons who played Division 1 basketball. There’s of course Michael Jordan, whose son Marcus played at UCF. Horace Grant and Steve Kerr also have kids who have already passed through the NCAA.
Then, there’s another star’s son currently playing: Scotty Pippen Jr.
This compilation has become a throwback to the mid-nineties basketball. And whether you’re a college basketball fan or an NBA fan, you’ll remember NCAA Champion (with Kentucky) Jamal Mashburn. His son, Jamal Mashburn Jr., is getting some playing time as a freshman at likely tourney team Minnesota.
As you are reading, there are multiple tournament-worthy teams with “second generation” talent stemming from NBA roots. Another example is Colorado. The Buffs have a bouncy forward who comes off the bench with energy and skill. He is the son of former Maverick and Laker, Samaki Walker. Ten games into the season, Jabari Walker was averaging 7 points and 4 rebounds with just 12 minutes of playing time on average. When you watch, many of those stats are scored with hustle plays. As a freshmen, not many offensive sets are drawn up for him. But the Buffs have a more Sweet 16 appearance to them when you see this type of talent coming off the bench.
Before he was Meta World Peace, he was apparently Ron Artest, the second. That’s because Ron Artest has a son playing college basketball right now, named Ron Artest III.
Former NBA bench players with kids in college basketball
If you collected basketball cards in the early nineties, you likely had a lot of duplicate Adam Keefe cards piling up in your collection. Now his son James is piling up the wins with Stanford basketball. Stanford started its season with quality out of conference play, including a win against Alabama, a tight one against UNC, and a loss to Indiana.
Meanwhile, also in the 1990s, UCLA basketball stamping its legendary brand on a new era of basketball. The O’Bannon twins, Ed and Charles, were leaders on a star-studded roster that won the 1995 NCAA Basketball Championship. Toby Bailey was a stud freshman who went on to lead UCLA for years. Tyus Edney perhaps went on to log the most NBA minutes from that team. But Charles and Ed O’Bannon were the big dogs on that roster. Ed was drafted 9th overall in the NBA draft. Charles was selected in the second round. Today, Charles Jr., known as Chuck, plays for TCU.
Scottie Pippen isn’t the only former NBA Champion with a son currently in college hoops.
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