UCLA Basketball

Where Are They Now? Ed O' Bannon

Luis OrtizContributor IJuly 8, 2009

Hello friends, here is another installment of my very own little column I write every week of superstar athletes, and it just so happens it has been the ones who have faded into obscurity thus far. But I promise it will be someone that had a decent career.  This week I spotlight Ed O'Bannon.   

Ed O'Bannon was a McDonald All American in High school, and was the key to UCLA'S men's National Championship, In a season where he averaged 20.4 points and 8.3 rebounds a game, he was awarded a couple of awards ( John R. Wooden award & the Oscar Robertson Trophy) all after he was told he probably will not walk right again.

O'Bannon was originally suppose to attend UNLV and play on a team that was loaded with talented players such as Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon, and Greg Anthony, who all returned for their senior year where they set several records the previous year against Duke in the men's NCAA Championship.

In July of 1990, UNLV was banned from NCAA tournament play and a chance to defend their title due to an infraction that happen years before their coming out season, which in turn affected O'Bannon’s decision to play for them.

"I wanted to be [at UNLV], but with all the rumors with the NCAA and how they were going to put the program on probation, there was a lot going on. I had a lot of different advice from all kinds of people."  O'Bannon says.

O'Bannon tore his ACL in a pick-up game several days before the start of practice for UCLA and was told walking for him was not going to be the same.

In O'Bannon's senior year he led the Bruins to their first national championship since the John Wooden era, in a big defeat against then defending champion's Arkansas, where he had 30 points and 17 rebounds.

Entering the NBA draft there was high expectations for the Bruins forward, but he could not find his place in the league and after three teams (Nets, Mavericks, and the Magic), he was released and left the league.

O'Bannon went overseas to play seven years in Argentina, Greece, Italy, Poland, and Spain.

Later on in his life he and his family moved to Nevada where his wife was quoted for saying that his life was destined for him to be here in Vegas!

Now O'Bannon is a car salesman at Findlay Toyota. Ed O'Bannon laughs at the heckles he still gets from UNLV fan's to this day. He say's that he has no regrets, instead, he just wonders what would have happen if he went and played with the Runnin’ Rebels.

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