NBA Hall of Fame forward Scottie Pippen was born on September 25, 1965, in Hamburg, Arkansas. A walk-on at the University of Central Arkansas, Pippen became one of college basketball’s best players and was selected fifth overall in the 1987 NBA draft. During the 1990s, he teamed up with Michael Jordan to lead the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles.
During his senior year at Hamburg High School he led the team to the state playoffs and earned all-conference honors. Perhaps scared off by his slight frame—he stood just 6'1" and weighed 150 pounds—no college offered him a basketball scholarship
As a favor to his high school coach, the University of Central Arkansas offered Pippen a chance to become a student manager of the basketball team. His freshman year, however, Pippen ended up making the team as a walk-on. Over the next four seasons, Pippen's growth in height—he eventually stood 6'8"—was matched by his stature among other top-level NCAA players. During his senior season at UCA, Pippen averaged 23.6 points and 10 rebounds per game
With his wide wingspan and seemingly unmatched ability to defend, score and rebound at will, Pippen was a favorite among NBA scouts. In the 1987 NBA Draft, the Seattle Supersonics selected the power forward with the fifth overall pick. Just a few weeks later, Pippen was traded to the Chicago Bulls for eventual journeyman Olden Polynice and a draft pick, to team up with Michael Jordan and a crew of other young players.
Following a modest rookie year, Pippen blossomed during the 1988-89 season—his first as a starter—helping turn a struggling Bulls club into a playoff contender.
In the spring of 1991, Pippen and Jordan led the Bulls to the first of three consecutive NBA titles, defeating Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers in the finals. Over the next seven seasons, the Bulls continued to win, capturing six NBA titles in all.
While Jordan was the face of the team's success, Pippen, with his versatility as a scorer and defensive player, was arguably just as vital to the club's run. During his 17-year career, Pippen was a seven-time All-Star and eight-time member of the NBA's All Defensive First Team.
In 1992, Pippen joined Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and a slew of other NBA greats to form the first Olympic "Dream Team." The club won the gold medal at the Summer Games in Barcelona, Spain, and in Atlanta in 1996, Pippen won Olympic gold for a second time. That same year, he was named one of the "50 Greatest Players in NBA History."
After short stints with the Houston Rockets and Portland Trailblazers, Pippen returned to Chicago for the 2003-04 season—his final year in the NBA. In 2010, the power forward was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.