Steve Kerr will go down in history as one of the greatest shooters of all time. His career 3-point shooting percentage is still the best ever and could stand for a long time, and he’ll always have his five NBA championships.
But he was once a skinny kid headed off to college at the University of Arizona. Back in 1983, Kerr’s freshman year, the Arizona basketball program wasn’t what it is today. Kerr guessed that only about six thousand people would show up to watch the Wildcats play back then.
However, once Kerr and his teammates started winning games, it really put the school on the map.
"The program was so down, and for it to turn around that quickly and to be apart of it – really, from the ground up – I think, means a lot to all the guys on that team,” said Kerr. “We realized, at the time, we were doing something special. But what we didn't understand was that there'd be 20 years of incredible success that followed with the program. It's kind of nice to know that we were there in the beginning, helping to build the foundation."
After Arizona, Kerr was drafted into the NBA and the rest is history. He played for six different teams and won titles with the Chicago Bulls and the San Antonio Spurs. He filled the sharpshooter role to perfection for 15 years, but he says it wouldn’t have been possible without his time in college.
"And the one thing that I always have remembered is that none of it would've happened without the experience I had at the U of A. That's when the foundation for me was built – not only in my career, but just kind of my post-adolescent development. That's why I feel so strongly about the school and the program. That's why I'm still such a huge Wildcat fan in every sport today. I just have this incredible bond with the place."
Kerr will be back on campus on October 21st for the Red-Blue intrasquad game and a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Arizona’s first trip to the Final Four.