Teammates and coaches were by and large tolerant of his unique view of his skills, but at the same time would always gently nudged him to play a little closer to the rim. He was a terrible free-throw shooter, ending his career with one of the worst free-throw percentages in NBA history, 41.8%.
Washington, D.C.? This wasn’t going to be a check-ball, pop-a-trey game of one-on-one. Complete Ben Wallace 2017 Biography. “A lot of people wondered if I could play center in the NBA at 6’7”, and between you and me, Ben is no bigger than I am. That's the method to the madness. Ben eventually signed with Auburn University, with an understanding that the school would allow him to play both sports, but ultimately the football staff would only allow Ben to play their brand of ball. He transferred to Virginia Union College at the recommendation of former NBA star Charles Oakley. All rights reserved. The budding barber became such a talented and popular neighborhood stylist that he eventually started charging non-family customers $3 per cut, and in time built up a nice bundle of cash, so much so that it paid his way to former Bulls and New York Knicks forward Charles Oakley’s basketball camp, held in nearby York, Alabama. In fact, it was a skill that had little to do with dribbling, shooting or dunking that would provide Wallace the means to further his basketball calling. Quickly released, Wallace signed on to play in Italy before getting a last minute call from Wes Unseld, GM of the Washington Bullets. Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Washington Bullets (now Wizards) in 1996. If he couldn’t later on in the NBA, he certainly couldn’t when I was 17.”, “Later on, he and I played a lot of basketball together,” Oakley says. She raised food and cotton nearby and stitched all the clothing for her large family. March 27, 2020 The two bloodied each other’s lips and noses. the NBA Privacy Center, it will apply to data controlled independently by the NBA. In fact, the Wallaces never owned a car and were among the last families in the area to get electricity. Ben Wallace Family, Childhood, Life Achievements, Facts, Wiki and Bio of 2017. He starred in four separate sports while attending Virginia Union College. “We didn’t get a lot of publicity, either. Ben Wallace was born the 10th of 11 children—and the youngest of eight boys—in White Hall, Alabama. Could the Bulls draft Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, or LaMelo Ball?
One of young Ben’s early refrains that he was all too willing to repeat over and over to family and friends alike was that he could shoot like Isiah Thomas, dish like Magic Johnson and dunk like Michael Jordan. Once the hair started to rise, so did Wallace’s game: In less than 17 minutes per game during 1997-98, Wallace averaged 4.8 rebounds and 1.07 blocks. Wallace and Washington teammates Webber and Darvin Ham forged a bet over who could grow his hair the longest. “Who knows how long it would have taken me to get back from overseas, if ever, without him taking a chance on me.”. In fact, he was goofing off during one of Oakley’s lectures at camp when the NBA strongman decided to make an example of him. In this instance, Wallace and Atkins were packaged and sent to Detroit in a sign-and-trade deal for All-Star superstar Grant Hill. The young center only got better as the lockout-shortened season wore on, climbing to a double-double average over the last month of the season. “The hair,” as Wallace now good-naturedly begins his answers to the seemingly interminable ’fro vs. ’rows questions that greet him these days, began as a lark. admin
He was strong and athletic, and that convinced me that he had a future, which made it easy to get behind him.”. Ben Wallace was born the 10th of 11 children—and the youngest of eight boys—in White Hall, Alabama. Sarah was born on May 19 1840, in Effingham, Illinois, United States. Leave a comment To this day I try to carry that way of thinking with me wherever I go.”. At the time (and even today), Ben was the shortest of all his brothers, so he wasn’t always willing to play down low in the post.
[June 2004]. The game quickly evolved into one of life or death. “I definitely learned about having a good work ethic from my family,” Wallace recalls.
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No portion of NBA.com may be duplicated, redistributed or manipulated in any form. “He explained that there is always a way to improve some part of my game, and that I shouldn’t ever feel satisfied. You see, Ben Wallace’s life story reads much like a Hollywood movie script—growing up poor in the sleepy southern town of White Hall, Alabama; eventually building a stellar reputation as an outstanding all-around high school athlete; receiving a full scholarship offer to NCAA national power Auburn University, less than 90 minutes away from family and friends; having that scholarship yanked away at the last minute and being forced to head north almost a thousand miles from home to play junior college ball as a walk-on without a scholarship; then heading to tiny Division II Virginia Union University, only to be overlooked by the NBA come Draft time; and then, down but not out, knocking on doors, looking for a chance to play and fulfill a dream. “I don’t blame [Carr], because in some ways I was just getting my legs under me as a player,” Wallace says. [January 2006], Lakeside Mall, Sterling Heights, Michigan signing autographs.
The trade, considered a steal for Orlando at the time, eventually delivered Orlando years of frustration while Detroit scored a World Championship that ended a 14-year drought for Pistons fans—and made Ben Wallace one of the most popular, and dangerous, players in the NBA. Ben was quick to the ball and tough once he got it. Bulls fans fondly remember Oakley’s Chicago tenure as Michael Jordan’s on court bodyguard during the mid-to-late 1980s—the ultimate enforcer—a guy who once broke Milwaukee Bucks big man Paul Mokeski’s nose on a simple drive to the basket. NBA Privacy Center | Carr believed he was undersized for the post and had him defending shooting guards and small forwards on the perimeter. “I stayed in contact with Oak, who told me about Virginia Union. Tags 10 1974 AL Basketball Player Ben Wallace September September 10 Virgo White Hall, Given birth to Joshua Ryan Alcorn, this American transgender teenager tragically committed suicide at age …, Living in Oakland Township, Michigan on Strathmore Blvrd. “Charles got mad and told us that we were soft, that he didn’t think we worked hard enough,” Wallace remembers with a chuckle. The Detroit Pistons often hitched themselves to his broad shoulders, using his strength in the middle to surge to four of the last five Central Division titles, two NBA Finals appearances, and the 2004 NBA World Championship. The like-minded Unseld was impressed with what he’d seen before of the up-and-coming big man. Ben had just finished his sophomore year at Central High in Hayneville, where he would later attain All-State honors in football, basketball, and baseball, in addition to track and field. He starred in four split sports while participating in Virginia Union University. Boston? The couple has two sons and one daughter together. Ben had 10 siblings: William Garfield Wallace, Liddie Waters (born Wallace) and 8 other siblings.
It wasn’t starring on a major-college hardwood or gridiron, or even trimming hair, but Oakley’s assistance kept Wallace going at a crossroads moment of his life. (February 21) Traded from the Chicago Bulls to the Cleveland Cavaliers. “Charles always encouraged me to work hard and never rest,” Wallace says, with obvious appreciation. No opportunity. Signed with the Chicago Bulls in July of 2006. “It’s just that I didn’t receive any [scholarship] offers to play basketball. Unfortunately, though, without Oakley sitting in some NBA club’s front office, Wallace didn’t stand a chance to be drafted, despite the Panthers’ impressive 28-3 record and Wallace’s solid stats of 12.5 points on .500 shooting, 10.5 rebounds and 3.68 blocks per game. If you make a request through It was just one of those things where I started looking ahead to the time where I would get a chance to play those extra minutes.”. “At the time he encouraged me to set goals for myself. What spending money there was—and there wasn’t much—usually came from baling hay or picking pecans for the local farmers. “Me and [then-Magic assistant] Johnny Davis talked a lot about that,” Wallace says. “I faced some of the same challenges as Ben,” recalls Unseld.
Thus, Wallace’s flirtation with a big-time Division I school quickly ended. Benjamin had 7 siblings: Joseph M Wallace, James M Wallace and 5 other siblings.
Privacy Act, please use the links below to visit each company’s privacy center. Named NBA Defensive Player of the Year for the 4th time in 5 years. “There are a lot of good, competitive junior college players, and I thought I did pretty well at Cuyahoga,” Wallace says. Copyright © 2020 NBA Media Ventures, LLC. Played college basketball at Virginia Union University, a small, historically-black college in Richmond, Virginia.
He trains, works-out, and excercises with Pistons teammate Darko Milicic. To his credit, Wallace looked at the trade to Orlando as a new opportunity and quickly befriended two rookies, Head Coach Doc Rivers and point guard Chucky Atkins. That year, Wallace not only began to flash enormous defensive potential, he unveiled a trademark Jimi Hendrix ’do that would soon turn him into a league-wide fan favorite. Looks like we don't have salary information. Those athletic achievements aside, he was still a kid at heart. By now you’ve already heard and read a lot about his exploits in Motown. The shine of the Windy City and the United Center spotlight, as bright as they burn, aren’t likely to ever make Ben Wallace wilt. Looks like we don't have pictures. This site is operated jointly by NBA and WarnerMedia. I think having that kind of attitude has made the difference between me and a lot of other players out there around the world. To Amy Wallace-Havens, he was just her big brother. No, it’s going to take much more than that.
The City of Broad Shoulders has a new favorite son. In an ironic twist of fate, he implausibly discovered a far less taxing way to earn extra spending money away from stifling heat and humidity of the sun-drenched farms of rural Alabama as a hair stylist. Still, even an unparalleled hybrid of Isiah, Magic and Michael would have had a hard time being unearthed in rural Alabama—especially in the early 1980s. 21 Views. Do Not Sell My Personal Information | It feels good to just play in the All-Star Game. In all honesty, I was hoping to use football as a path to play basketball in college.”. Children: Sons Ben Jr., Bryce, and Daughter Bailey. Heading into 1999-2000, however, Washington gambled that center Isaac Austin would return to his Most Improved Player (1996-97) form, and Wallace was shipped along with three teammates to the Orlando Magic. No long-term vision. There were already several established scorers on the Panthers, so Wallace put his offensive game to the side and focused on fashioning himself into an Oakley-style bruiser down low in the paint. No minutes. There was an old bicycle-wheel rim nailed to the side of the Wallace’s three-bedroom home, turning it into the neighborhood hotspot for half-court basketball games of three-on-three. The All-Star Game is about going out and having fun, it's more for the fans. Sorry! Indeed, Wallace was hovering just under the surface of stardom. Unfortunately, Wallace wouldn’t end up seeing increased minutes in Orlando.
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