There are few things more rewarding for any professional athlete than to be enshrined into the Hall Of Honor for whichever conference they played their collegiate career at. For the 2011-2012 season, two of the very best players in Arizona basketball history will be inducted into the Pac-12 Hall Of Fame: Richard Jefferson of the Arizona Wildcats and Kurt Nimphius of the Arizona St. Sun Devils.
Continue reading for all the details on both players, including the date of the ceremony.
From the official conference release:
Jefferson became one of the most prolific players in Arizona history in just three seasons with the Wildcats(1999-2001). The Arizona native was known primarily for his athleticism andposterizing dunks, but used his defensive intensity to help his team advance to the 2001 Final Four and play in the national championship game.
As a freshman, Jefferson averaged 12.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in Pac-10 play, earning him a spot on the 1999 Pac-10 All-Freshman team. The following season, Jefferson emerged as the team's best all-around player before suffering a broken bone in his foot midway through the season. When he was on the court, he averaged 11.0 points on .503 shooting for the 2000 Pac-10 Championship team. His third and final year, Jefferson averaged 11.3 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in leading Arizona to the 2001 NCAA championship game.
Jefferson was the 13th overall pick by the Houston Rockets in the 2001 NBA Draft and was a 2002 second-team NBA all-rookie selection. He led the New Jersey Nets to back-to-back Eastern Conference titles in 2002 and 2003, and is now in his 11th year in the NBA, currently playing for the San Antonio Spurs.
Nimphius earned All-Pac-10 honors as a senior after leading the Sun Devils in scoring (16.6 points per game), rebounding (9.6 rebounds per game) and field goal percentage (.609). He set then-school records for highest field goal percentage in a single season (.609) and career (.586). The sharp-shooter notched 1,006 points in his four years as a Sun Devil (1977-80) and blocked 93 shots, including a team-best 44 blocks in 1978-79.
His senior year, ASU went 22-7 and finished 15-3 in league play, good enough to finish second in the Pac-10 and earn the Sun Devils an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament where he averaged 13.5 points and 9.0 rebounds in two games. He was team captain andteam MVP in his senior. As a senior, the South Milwaukee High School product turned out 11 double-doubles and scored 30 points four times, including a 37-pointeffort against Oregon.
Nimphius enjoyed an eight-year career in the NBA (1981-90) after being picked in the third round (47th pick) in the 1980 NBADraft by the Denver Nuggets. He played for the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs and Philadelphia 76ers. He wasinducted into the ASU Sports Hall of Fame in October 2011.
A big congratulations to both players. Both players, along with the other 10 nominees, will officially be enshrined to the Hall Of Honor during the Pac-12 Tournament in March.