Saturday, March 7, 2009

What Ever Happened To. . .

Have you ever wondered what happened to those long lost college superstars that seem to have fallen off the face of the earth? I remember watching Hollis Price, Scoonie Penn and Mateen Cleaves play some of the best basketball at the college level. I haven't heard anything about these guys for so long, that I decided to look them up. Here is what I found.


Hollis Price lit up the court for the Oklahoma Sooners from 1999-2003. The 6 ft. point guard was known for his scrappy, fierce playing-style. I will never forget the epic battles between Price and T.J. Ford (of Texas) in the Big 12. Here is a good YouTube video of Price.

Price led the Sooners to the Final Four in 2002 and his performance made him famous among college basketball fans across the country. He went undrafted in 2003 and has mostly gone off the radar in the United States. Those who are close to Price know his interesting story both on and off the court since his days as a Sooner.

In 2005, Price’s family was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the Sooner Nation remembered the days when Hollis left everything on the court in Norman. When it was rumored that Price lost all of his old college memorabilia, fans pitched in to send him anything and everything so he could remember his days as a Sooner.

On the court, Price has bounced around overseas, playing in Lithuania, Germany and France. He currently runs the point for the Milan, Italy based club, “Olimpia Milano.” He still plays with the same fire and heart that all of his fans remember from his days in Oklahoma. You can view his player profile here.


James Scoonie Penn played point guard at Boston College before transferring to The Ohio State University where he teamed up with Michael Redd to lead the Buckeyes to the Final Four in 1999.

The 5 ft., 11 in. Penn was the recipient of the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, which is awarded to the most outstanding senior under six feet tall. Penn was named as a 3rd Team All American in 1999 and 2000, and the Big 10 Player of the Year in the 1998-1999 season. He was also named MVP of the Big East Tournament in his sophomore season at Boston College.

The Atlanta Hawks selected Penn in the 2nd round of the 2000 NBA Draft with the 57th overall pick. When he didn’t catch on in the NBA, Penn left to play overseas. He has played in Italy, Croatia and Serbia and is making a name for himself. Penn is considered one of the top point guards in Europe and is having a great career overseas. In the 2006 season, he averaged 17.0 points, 2.8 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game. He frequently wins the weekly MVP award as the current Point Guard for Turkish club Efes Pilsen.

Here is a short highlight clip.


Mateen Cleaves was a 3-time All American and 2-time Big Ten Player of the Year while playing point guard at Michigan State University. He is the all-time steals leader at Michigan State with 193. Cleaves led the Spartans to the 2000 NCAA National Championship and was named the most outstanding player of the Final Four. You can view the highlights of the championship game here.

In the 2000 NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons selected Cleaves in the 1st round with the 14th overall pick. After a disappointing rookie season (5.4 points and 2.7 assists per game) the Pistons traded Cleaves to the Sacramento Kings for Jon Barry and a 1st round pick. Cleaves was on the roster of both the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Seattle Supersonics, but ultimately did not catch on with any NBA team.

Cleaves played in Russia and Greece for a brief period, and was on the 2008 pre-season roster with the Denver Nuggets before being waived before the season opener. Currently, Cleaves is in the NBA Development League with the Bakersfield Jam where he is averaging 12.1 points, 8.3 assists, and 2.9 rebounds per game.

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Chan said...

The Spartans to the 2000 NCAA National Championship and was named the most outstanding player of the Final Four. You can view the highlights of the championship game