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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Where are they now? Shawn Respert

Shawn Respert played shooting guard for the Michigan State Spartans from 1990 to 1995. During his senior season, coach Jud Heathcote's final year at MSU, Respert averaged 25.6 points per game and was named the 1995 Big Ten Player of the Year. Respert was also a unanimous first team All-American for the 1994-95 season. Michigan State entered the 1995 NCAA Tournament as a 3-seed but was upset in the first round by 14-seed Weber State 79-72.

Respert was selected with the 8th overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. Portland then traded Respert to the Milwaukee Bucks for Gary Trent and a first-round pick. Respert played for four NBA teams (Milwaukee, Toronto, Dallas and Phoenix) from 1995 to 1999. After being waived in 1999, Respert played professionally for overseas in Italy, Greece, and Poland before retiring in 2003.

In 2005, Shawn Respert admitted that he was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 1996 at the age of 23. He kept his battle with cancer a secret because he didn't want people feeling sorry for him or using it as an excuse as to why his NBA career never took off.

Respert has worked as Director of Basketball Operations for Rice University, and is now currently the Director of Player Development for the NBDL, the NBA's Development League.