One of the most decorated athletes to ever wear a Michigan Wolverine basketball jersey was Glen Rice. This 1984-85 Michigan Mr. Basketball started his playing career at Flint Northwestern High School, where he helped win two Class A state championships. Rice is today’s topic for Throwback Thursday.
Rice, a 6-foot-8 forward who played for the University of Michigan from 1985-1989, was a three-year starter. The Michigan sharpshooter was amazing to watch unless you were an opposing coach. It didn’t matter where he shot from on the floor, the ball almost always found the bottom of the net. The last year of his college career was the most exciting, ending with numerous awards, a 25.6 points-per-game average and an NCAA Tournament Championship.
Michigan was a No. 3 seed in the Midwest bracket and easily found itself in the Elite Eight after defeating Xavier, South Alabama and North Carolina. Rice put up 32 points against Virginia, then in the Final Four 28 points vs Illinois to help Michigan advance to the final game. Michigan vs Seaton Hall for the National Championship! Rice would not let his team lose, scorching Seaton Hall for 34 pts and grabbing 11 rebounds. The Wolverines would win their first NCAA basketball championship. Rice was named the tournaments Most Outstanding Player by scoring 184 points in six games. This scoring clinic is still a NCAA tournament record today. He also found himself on the cover of Sports Illustrated for the April issue.
Rice would end his basketball career at Michigan being the schools leading scorer with 2,442 points. He also holds single season records for most points(949), Field Goals made(363), three point percentage(51.6), all in the 1988-89 season. Two Big Ten scoring titles can be added to his accomplishments in 1988 and 1989.
Rice was projected to be a first round pick in the 1989 NBA draft and that he was. The Miami Heat selected Glen Anthony Rice with the number 4 pick. The Heat was one of the newer expansion teams and they needed help scoring some points. They sure did their homework by drafting Rice. He helped them reach the playoffs in the 1991-92 season and became the first star for the organization.
Rice would have a very respectable 15 year career in the NBA. He played with the Heat until 1995, when he was traded to the Hornets. Then traded to the Lakers, where he would win his only NBA championship in 2000. Rice also played for the Knicks, Rockets and Clippers before retiring in 2004. Rice finished his professional career with 1559 3 pointers and also won the All Stat Long Distance Shootout in 1995.
He was a 3 time NBA all star and voted the All Star game MVP in 1997. I was fortunate enough to see Rice play in the 2000 Western Conference Championship vs the Trailblazers and I loved watching him knock it down from long range.
This Michigan sharpshooter would be honored in Feb 2005 at Crisler Arena by having his #41 jersey retired. What an spectacular basketball career he had with so many accolades and records! As always, it is my honor to tell you about another Michigan man, Mr. Glen Rice on this Throwback Thursday.
Chad Finley, a @TBHR Contributor
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