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Ed O'Bannon
Position(s) Power forward
Jersey #(s) 31
Listed height 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight 222 lb (101 kg)
Born August 14, 1972 (1972-08-14) (age 37)
Los Angeles, California, USA
Career information
Year(s) 1995–1997
NBA Draft 1995 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9
College UCLA
Professional team(s)
Career stats (NBA and/or ABA)
Points     634
Assists     102
Steals     73
Stats @
Career highlights and awards

Edward Charles O'Bannon, Jr. (born August 14, 1972 in Los Angeles, California) is a retired American basketball player, who was a star power forward for the UCLA Bruins men's basketball team, where he was known as "Ed-O", but had a less-than-illustrious career as a professional basketball player. He is the older brother of former Detroit Pistons guard Charles O'Bannon (with whom he shares the same first and middle names, in reverse order), who also played college basketball at UCLA.


High school and college

Ed O'Bannon was a McDonald's High School All-American coming from Artesia High School and originally planned to attend the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). However, when that school's men's basketball program was placed on probation due to recruiting improprieties, O'Bannon was granted a release and instead attended UCLA. He had little impact, however, at the beginning, as he tore his anterior cruciate ligament. He was told he might not be able to walk properly again,[1] but eighteen months later, after receiving a graft from a cadaver[2], he returned to playing basketball and became the team leader. He was the key to UCLA's 1995 NCAA Basketball Championship scoring 30 points and taking 17 rebounds. For the season, he averaged 20.4 points (.533 field-goal percentage, .433 3-point percentage) and 8.3 rebounds, enough to earn him the John R. Wooden Award as well as the Oscar Robertson Trophy that year. His number 31 was then retired by the Bruins.

Professional career

Selected ninth by the New Jersey Nets of the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the first round of the 1995 NBA Draft, O'Bannon entered the league with high expectations, but was unable to find a place in the professional game, being too slight for an NBA forward due to continued knee issues and too slow to be a guard. In his two seasons for the Nets, he averaged 6.2 and 4.2 points per game respectively. He was unloaded to the Dallas Mavericks later in his second and final NBA season, where he had even less of an impact. His final indignity was being traded (along with Derek Harper) and then promptly released by the Orlando Magic on September 24, 1997.[3]

Later life

After his NBA career, O'Bannon played professional basketball in Italy, Spain, Greece, Argentina and Poland (in Anwil Włocławek, Polonia Warszawa and Astoria Bydgoszcz). He decided to retire at age 30 after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. When he made his decision, he was in the process of trying out for a new league in China but realized he had no more motivation to play the game. Furthermore, the people holding the tryouts had never even heard of him.[3]

He attended UNLV to finish his bachelor's degree. As of 2009, he lived Henderson, Nevada with his wife and children, and was employed as a marketing director for a Las Vegas auto dealership.[4] Not wallowing in his past, in 2006, when he was a salesman at the dealership, O'Bannon told the Los Angeles Times, "People see me and remember me and I'm proud to tell them — 'No, I don't play. No, I don't coach. Yes, I sell cars.'"[3]

In 2009, citing a renewed interest in basketball due to his children, O'Bannon accepted an offer to become the head coach of the boys' basketball team at a prep school in Henderson.[5] He also was named as the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) on behalf of its Division I football and men's basketball players over the organization's use for commercial purposes of the images of its former student athletes. Specifically, the suit argued that upon graduation, a former student athlete should become entitled to financial compensation for future commercial uses of his or her image by the NCAA.[6][7]

See also


External links

Ed O'Bannon's Lost Lettermen Interviews

Preceded by
Corliss Williamson
NCAA Basketball Tournament
Most Outstanding Player

Succeeded by
Tony Delk
Preceded by
Glenn Robinson
John R. Wooden Award (men)
Succeeded by
Marcus Camby


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