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John Starks is probably most known for “The Dunk,” when he dunked over Horace Grant in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Starks almost never had a chance to complete “The Dunk” though.
Starks did not get recruited to play college basketball. He, instead, was a member of the Rogers State College “taxi squad." These were players that were not even on the first squad. Starks’ only responsibility was to replace an injured or suspended player.
He never got the chance, though. He was expelled from Rogers State for stealing another student’s stereo.
Starks’s next stint with Northern Oklahoma College did not end much better. His 11 points per game were overshadowed by his off-the-court behavior. Starks was arrested for robbery and had to spend five days in jail. After that he was caught smoking cannabis and was asked to leave the college.
After two years at Tulsa Junior College, Starks transferred to Oklahoma State University.
Starks’ problems off the court kept him from being drafted in 1988.
He signed with the Golden State Warriors, but he was released after just one season.
Starks would eventually solidify his position with the New York Knicks. He became known as a fiery competitor, and for that reason, he was popular with the equally fiery New York fans.
His road to the NBA was tough, but because of his hard work, John Starks and his dunk will forever be on posters in college dorm rooms and man caves everywhere.