When the name Rick Pitino is mentioned we often think of the college coach Rick Pitino, But did you know that before he got into coaching he was a point guard for the University of Massachusetts?
He was a standout guard for the Minutemen basketball team. His 329 career assists rank tenth all-time at UMass, as of the 2009–10 season. He led the team in assists as a junior and senior. The 168 assists as a senior is the eighth-best single season total ever there. Pitino was a freshman at the same time future NBA legend Julius Erving spent his junior (and final) year at UMass, although the two never played on the same team because freshmen were ineligible to play varsity basketball at the time. Other teammates of Pitino’s include Al Skinner, who also went on to become a successful college coach, and baseballer Mike Flanagan, who went on to pitch in the major leagues and win the AL Cy Young Award in 1979. Pitino earned his degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) in 1974.
So there you have it Rick Pitino the point guard. I couldn’t find an video to show his skills but he here is in still pictures number 22.
Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday spotlights…Rick Pitino.