Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Damon “Mighty Mouse” Stoudamire

Damon Lamon Stoudamire (born September 3, 1973) is a retired American professional basketball player who is currently an assistant coach for the Memphis Tigers men's basketball team. The 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m), 171 lb (78 kg; 12.2 st) point guard was selected with the 7th overall pick by the Toronto Raptors in the 1995 NBA Draft and won the 1995-96 NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He played collegiately at the University of Arizona, and professionally for the Toronto Raptors, Portland Trail Blazers, Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs. He is the cousin of former Arizona Wildcats standout Salim Stoudamire.
Stoudamire was born to Willie Stoudamire and Liz Washington in Portland, Oregon; he was the only child, with three stepsisters; his parents never married. Willie Stoudamire moved away to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to work in a brewery when Damon was seven years old. Stoudamire was raised by his mother, Liz, and his grandmother, Wanda Stoudamire-Matthews.
While Stoudamire was growing up, his uncles, Charles and Anthony Stoudamire, got him involved in sports, mainly basketball and football. They acted as fathers and personal coaches to Stoudamire in his younger years, as he grew up watching his favorite player, Nate Archibald, and attempted to pattern his game after his childhood hero. As he grew older, Damon began to play basketball at Irving Park in the Portland, Irvington neighborhood and at the Matt Dishman Community Center in Portland.
Stoudamire attended Holy Redeemer grade school (a Catholic school) and Harriet Tubman Middle School, then attended Woodrow Wilson High School. During his junior year in high school, his grandmother Wanda died of cancer. He would later tattoo Wanda's face and her address on his left arm in remembrance. He was accepted to attend and play basketball at the University of Oregon, but chose to attend the University of Arizona instead.
Stoudamire played point guard for the Arizona Wildcats and legendary coach, Lute Olson. He was a first-team All-American and finalist for College Player of the Year. He teamed with Khalid Reeves his junior year to lead the team to the Final Four. During his senior year he earned the All-American honors for his 22.8 points per game. He also finished his college career first on the Wildcats' all-time list in three-pointers made (272), second in points (1,849), fourth in assists (663), and was the only player in Arizona history to have two 40-point games. Stoudamire scored his career-high 45 points at Stanford University on January 12, 1995. He was named a 1995 Wooden Award finalist after sharing the Pac-10 Player of the Year award with Ed O'Bannon.

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