One of the most storied players in Wildcat basketball history, Arizona alumnus and former NBA great Damon Stoudamire is in his second year as a member of the coaching staff at his alma mater.
In just a short time in the coaching ranks, Stoudamire has proven himself a dynamic recruiter and an adept on-court instructor. During his playing career on both the college and professional levels, he had the opportunity to learn the nuances of the profession from such luminaries as Lute Olson and Gregg Popovich.
Stoudamire hit the ground running in his return to the university, helping guide the Wildcats to a 33-5 record, a regular-season Pac-12 title and an Elite Eight run in 2013-14.
He was a key figure in former Arizona guard Nick Johnson’s development into a national star in 2013-14. After quickly developing a rapport with Stoudamire, Johnson evolved into an explosive scorer and efficient facilitator, earning multiple first-team All-America honors and establishing himself as a finalist for all three major National Player of the Year awards.
Johnson was chosen by the Houston Rockets in the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft.
Stoudamire returned to Tucson after two years as an assistant coach at the University of Memphis, where he helped the Tigers to a combined 57-14 (.803) record from 2010-12. Memphis swept the Conference USA regular season and tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in both of Stoudamire’s seasons on the bench.
Stoudamire had a two-year run as an assistant with the Memphis Grizzlies from 2009-11. During his tenure, he helped the Grizzlies complete what was at the time the most successful season in franchise history, finishing third in the Southwest Division with a 46-36 record in 2010-11.
Eighth-seeded Memphis shocked the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the opening round of the 2011 playoffs before falling to Oklahoma City in the Western Conference semifinals.
In Stoudamire’s first season on the Grizzlies’ bench, he helped orchestrate a 16-game turnaround from the previous year. In 2010, he also coached the organization’s entry into the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League.
Prior to joining the Grizzlies’ staff, Stoudamire was the director of player development at Rice during the 2008-09 campaign.
One of the most dynamic guards in Arizona history, Stoudamire led Arizona to a 101-24 (.808) record from 1991-95, winning Pac-10 championships in 1994 and 1995 and leading the Cats to the 1994 Final Four. He received three All-America honors during that 1993-94 season, including consensus first-team accolades. As a senior, he was a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award and captured a share of the Pac-10 Player of the Year award.
Stoudamire finished his collegiate career ranked fifth on the UA career scoring list with 1,849 points, which still ranks sixth today, and his 663-career assists were the second-most in the Lute Olson era. He is the only player in Arizona history to score 40 points in a single game twice and one of only three Wildcats to score more than 600 points in a season twice, finishing his career as the program record holder with 272 three-point field goals (now ranks third). Nearly two decades after the completion of his UA career, Stoudamire still ranks in the top 10 on eight different program career charts.
Nicknamed “Mighty Mouse,” Stoudamire was the seventh overall selection in the 1995 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors. He played 13 seasons in the league (1995-2008) for Toronto, Portland, Memphis and San Antonio, averaging 13.4 points, 6.1 assists and 3.4 rebounds in 878-career appearances.
In his initial NBA season in 1995-96, Stoudamire averaged 19.0 points, a career-best 9.3 assists and 4.0 rebounds on his way to Rookie of the Year honors. He also claimed the NBA Rookie All-Star Game MVP trophy that season.
During his second NBA season, he averaged a career-high 20.2 points and also posted averages of 8.8 assists and 4.1 boards in 81 games.
Stoudamire was traded to his hometown Portland Trailblazers during the 1997-98 season and played in front of his home fans for eight years. His final year in Portland was his most productive from a scoring standpoint and 15.8 points per game to go along with an average of 5.7 assists. He tallied a career-high 54 points against New Orleans on Jan. 14, 2005, a mark that still stands as the Trail Blazers’ single-game record.
From 2005-08, Stoudamire played in 118 games for Memphis, averaging 8.4 points and 4.6 assists in two-plus years. He finished the 2007-08 season – the final year of his career – in San Antonio.In his NBA career, Stoudamire played on six playoff teams, including five in Portland. He led the 1999-2000 Blazers to the Western Conference finals, where they were defeated by the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games.