Ed O’Bannon

Edward Charles O’Bannon, Jr. (born August 14, 1972) is a retired American professional basketball player, known as a power forward for the UCLA Bruins men’s basketball team on their 1995 NCAA championship team. He was the ninth pick in the 1995 National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft, selected by the New Jersey Nets. He spent only two seasons in the NBA, but continued his professional career for another eight years, mainly playing in Europe.

Leading up to the 1995 NBA Draft, O’Bannon hoped to be drafted by a team on the west coast. Selected ninth overall by the New Jersey Nets, he signed a three-year, $3.9 million contract. However, he became homesick.[10] In his two professional seasons, he was unable to find a place in the NBA, being too lean to play down low and not quick enough with his rebuilt knees to guard the perimeter.[3] His knee also started to break down.[10] He averaged 6.2 and 4.2 points per game respectively with the Nets and was traded to the Dallas Mavericks later in his second and final NBA season, where he had even less of an impact. In September 1997 he was traded along with Derek Harper to the Orlando Magic and released. “It wasn’t injury, it was confidence,” O’Bannon said about his NBA career. “I missed shots, got pulled from games, it affected my defense, and I lost all my confidence.”[11] Former Nets teammate Armon Gilliam said, “He’s a guy who didn’t find his niche in the NBA. He wasn’t in the right situation to grow and develop. He never got the opportunity to prove what he could do.”

O’Bannon is the lead plaintiff in O’Bannon v. NCAA, an antitrust class action lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

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Career highlights and awards
NCAA champion (1995)
NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player (1995)
USBWA College Player of the Year (1995)
John R. Wooden Award (1995)
Pac-10 co-Player of the Year (1995)
Consensus first-team All-American (1995)
Third-team All-American – NABC (1994)
3× First-team All-Pac-10 (1993–1995)
No. 31 retired by UCLA
UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame (2005)
Pac-12 Conference Hall of Honor (2012)
Career NBA statistics
Points 634 (5.0 ppg)
Rebounds 316 (2.5 rpg)
Assists 102 (0.8 apg)

FIBA Americas U18 Championship
Gold medal – first place 1990 Montevideo National team
Summer Universiade
Gold medal – first place 1993 Buffalo National team

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