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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

1997 then and now: Where the Arizona basketball national title team is today

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Ron Jenkins
The Dallas Mavericks' Jason Terry (31) in the first half against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 1 of the NBA's Western Conference first-round playoff series at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on Saturday, April 28, 2012. (Ron Jenkins/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT)

Editors note: The 1997 National Championship team will be in attendance at the Red-Blue Game in McKale Center on Friday for the 20th anniversary celebration of Arizona basketball’s lone title.

The city of Tucson and the University of Arizona men’s basketball team were on a high from the National Championship victory. The Wildcats would follow up that season by bringing back the core pieces of the team who decided to forego the NBA draft. 

The 1998 team was better than the year before, however, stumbled in the Elite Eight when Rick Majerus and Utah employed a triangle-and-2 defense, playing man-to-man on Mike Bibby and Miles Simon but zone defense on the rest of the team, it worked. 

Jason Terry, Michael Dickerson and the rest of the Wildcats couldn’t muster enough points to overcome the handicap and the season ended in brutal fashion, without a repeat.

So what happened after 1997, and where is everyone now?

Jason Terry

“The Jet” was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in 1999 and has made an NBA career last three decades. Terry mad the NBA All-Rookie second team in 2000, was the NBA Sixth Man of the Year in 2009 and won a championship with the Dallas Mavericks in the 2010-11 season. He is currently playing for the Milwaukee Bucks.

RELATED: Jason Terry learned from freshman year to help lead Wildcats to national championship

Mike Bibby

Bibby entered the NBA draft shortly after the 1998 season. Bibby was the second overall pick in the 1998 NBA draft by the Vancouver Grizzlies. After three seasons of mediocrity, he was traded to the Sacramento Kings and had seven seasons there leading his team to the Western Conference Finals twice, losing each time. 

Bibby played 17 seasons in the NBA and was the Head Coach at Shadow Mountain high school where his son, Mike Bibby Jr., played for him.

RELATED: The purest point guard ever at Arizona, Bibby was silent assasin for 1997 national championship team

Miles Simon

Simon struggled out of college, securing a brief stint with the Orlando Magic before playing in the CBA for the Dakota Wizards and other European leagues intermittently. 

He took a spot on Lute Olson’s staff in 2005, the same year he graduated from UA, and stayed with Olson until 2008 when he accepted a role with ESPN. Simon is one of the premiere color analysts for ESPN’s coverage of college basketball.

RELATED: Miles Simon relives ‘ubelievable’ championship run with the Arizona Wildcats 1997 title team

Michael Dickerson

Dickerson was a first round pick by the Houston Rockets where he played one season before getting traded to Vancouver to play with former UA teammate Mike Bibby. That one season with the Grizzlies was Dickerson’s best as he averaged over 18 points a game. Unfortunately, injuries derailed his career and he retired shortly after.

RELATED: Michael Dickerson: Lost man among 1997 Arizona basketball team

A.J. Bramlett

Bramlett was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers but didn’t make it through a full season before getting released and heading overseas to play for several international teams until 2008. He currently live in New Mexico where he works as a Promoter at Le-Vel and is a Co-Founder at Run the Walk in Albaquerque.

Bennett Davison

After graduating from the UA, Davison went on to play overseas for ten seasons. His experiences varied and in the end created a site called Eurohooplife.com, where players can go to find more information on teams such as whether they honor their commitment to pay, something Davison had to learn the hard way when he was stiffed four months of pay. 

Davison is currently living in Sacramento, California and works in marketing and advertising in addition to other endeavors.

Josh Pastner


Pastner was long known to be a bench supporter come head coach as soon as he arrived on the UA campus. Pastner graduated from UA in just over two years in Family Studies and got his Masters in Education in 1999. 

He became a Graduate Assistant for coach Olson in 2000 before becoming an assistant coach in 2002. He stayed on staff until taking a position at Memphis as a recruiting coordinator in 2008-09. 

Pastner was tabbed to be the replacement for John Calipari at Memphis in 2009 and stayed at the school until this year when he took the head coaching job at Georgia Tech where he is currently still coach.

Eugene Edgerson

After getting his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in education, Edgereson wound up playing for the Harlem Globetrotters in 2004 for several seasons. He currently is still in the Tucson area and has become a referee, spotting him at any gym during the summer or basketball seasons is not an uncommon occurrence.

Donnell Harris

Harris retired from basketball just three seasons after his UA days due to knee injuries. His last known occupation was as a chef in Phoenix, according to an Arizona Daily Star article from 2007.

John Ash

Ash was part of the 1997 and 2001 Final Four teams at Arizona as a walk-on. He still lives in the Tucson area as a Senior Associate at CBRE, Capital Markets Investment Properties.

Jason Stewart

Stewart has been coaching basketball since he graduated in 1999. He is currently the Head Coach at San Dieguito Academy in Encinitas, California.


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