KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hall of Famer Mitch Richmond was born in Florida, but he played college basketball in Missouri and Kansas before becoming one of the top 50 scorers in NBA history.
Richmond started out his college career at Moberly (Missouri) Area Community Community, a junior college powerhouse in mid-Missouri, and finished with two seasons at Kansas State University, where he averaged 20.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 64 career games.
His 768 points as a senior in 1987-88 remained K-State’s single-season record for 20 years before Michael Beasley broke it.
After his senior season with the Wildcats, Richmond was selected for the U.S. men’s basketball team, which won a bronze medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
Richmond averaged 8.9 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists for the U.S., which lost to the Soviet Union in the semifinals.
He scored 15 against China and 16 against Egypt during Group B play.
Richmond later led the U.S. with 12 points and seven rebounds against Australia in the bronze-medal match.
He also was the No. 5 overall pick by the Golden State Warriors — part of the high-scoring “Run TMC” teams with Tim Hardaway and Chris Mullin.
Richmond was the 1989 NBA Rookie of the Year after averaging 22.0 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists for the Warriors.
By 1996, Richmond had moved onto the Sacramento Kings — formerly based in Kansas City — and established himself as one of the NBA’s top scorers.
He was selected for a second Olympic team, helping the U.S. win gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Richmond averaged 9.6 points for “Dream Team III,” including a team-high 16 in a Group A win against Croatia.
Richmond was a six-time NBA All-Star with the Kings, playing in the exhibition each season from 1993-98 and earning the All-Star Game MVP in 1995.
He played 14 seasons in the NBA — finishing with 20,497 points, which ranks 47th in the combined NBA/ABA record books.
Richmond capped his career with an NBA title in 2002 with the Los Angeles Lakers, playing a limited role alongside Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.
He was a four-time, second-team All-NBA performer and two-time third-team All-NBA pick.
Richmond’s NBA career scoring average of 21.0 points per game ranks 44th in NBA/ABA history.
He also ranks in the all-time top 100 in career steals, free-throw percentage, three-point percentage, minutes played and offensive win shares, according to Basketball Reference.
He was inducted into the K-State Sports Hall of Fame in 1998 and the National Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014.
K-State retired Richmond’s number (23) as did the NBA’s Kings (2).
The Kansas City region has a deep, rich history with respect to the Olympic Games. As the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games approach with the Opening Ceremony scheduled for July 23, we will profile an athlete with ties to Kansas City, Missouri or Kansas each day.
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