Clarence Weatherspoon bigraphy, stories - American basketball player

Clarence Weatherspoon : biography

September 8, 1970 -

Clarence Weatherspoon, Sr. (born September 8, 1970 in Crawford, Mississippi) is a former American professional basketball player in the NBA.

After a college career at the University of Southern Mississippi, Weatherspoon was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers as the ninth pick in the 1992 NBA Draft. He has since played for the 76ers, the Golden State Warriors, the Miami Heat, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the New York Knicks and the Houston Rockets, averaging 11.5 points per game throughout his career.

At six-foot-seven-inches and 250 pounds (201 cm, 113 kg), he was nicknamed "Baby Barkley" early during his career due to a similar aggressive playing style attributed to fellow short-statured NBA power forward and former 76er, Charles Barkley.

He participated in the 1993 Slam Dunk contest, finishing second to Harold Miner with an overall score of 92.

Southern Mississippi

After playing his high school basketball at Motley High School, in Columbus, Mississippi, Weatherspoon decided to attend the University of Southern Mississippi, where he became the school's most decorated player.

Weatherspoon finished his four-year career at Southern Mississippi with averages of 18.5 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. He is first on the school’s all-time list in rebounding, blocked shots, and minutes; is second in scoring (just six points behind all-time leader Nick Revon); and third in points per game, field goals made, field goal percentage, free throws made and attempted, and steals.

The Golden Eagles were 64-53 during Weatherspoon’s four seasons, including a 21-8 record in 1991 when USM were nationally ranked (at one point reaching no. 9) and advanced to the NCAA tournament. The Golden Eagles fell to NC State on March 14, 1991, in the opening round of the East Regional, 114-85, and Weatherspoon scored 21 points. It was the second straight season USM had made the NCAA tournament; in 1990 they had lost 79-63 in the opening round to La Salle. Weatherspoon led the Golden Eagles with 16 points.

Weatherspoon was named Metro Conference Player of the Year for three straight years, from 1990 to 1992. He is the only three-time recipient of the award, and remains the all-time leading rebounder in the conference's history.

Weatherspoon became the first Golden Eagle to have his jersey retired when his #35 was raised to the rafters on March 7, 1992, on the night of his final home game.

As a collegian, Weatherspoon twice represented the USA in international competition. In 1990, Weatherspoon was on the silver-medal winning USA team that participated in the Goodwill Games. In 1991, Weatherspoon was on the USA's team for the Pan-American games played in Cuba; the USA won the bronze medal, and in the tournament's seven games Weatherspoon averaged 9.6 points and 6.3 rebounds.

In February 1991, Weatherspoon was the focus of a five-page feature in Sports Illustrated.

While at Southern Mississippi, Weatherspoon had a trademark dunk called the "Spoon Feed."

Weatherspoon was inducted into the Southern Mississippi Alumni Association Hall of Fame in 2007.

NBA career

Weatherspoon was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers (Round 1, Pick 9) in the 1992 NBA Draft. He was drafted just three days after the Sixers had traded away Charles Barkley to Phoenix.

The Philadelphia media, who had once called Weatherspoon the “Metro’s Barkley” during one of USM’s NCAA tournament appearances, instantly drew comparisons between the departed Barkley and the recently-drafted Weatherspoon. Spoon, listed at 6-7 but appearing closer to 6-5, was, like Barkley, an undersized power forward with a strong desire for rebounding and operating down low. Weatherspoon was referred to as “Baby Barkley” at times during his early career.

Weatherspoon quietly had an excellent rookie campaign for the struggling 76ers. He averaged 15.6 points per game, which placed him third on the team, and he broke Lee Shaffer’s thirty-one-year-old record for most points in a season by a Sixers rookie (the record has since been broken by both Jerry Stackhouse and Allen Iverson). Spoon led the 76ers in rebounding, was fourth among rookies in scoring (trailing Shaquille O’Neal, Alonzo Mourning and Christian Laettner), and scored a season-high 30 points in a nationally televised game at Denver. He was named to the All-rookie second team.

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