Reid appreciative of Arkansas days

By: Jeremy Muck
Published: Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Kareem Reid celebrates following Arkansas' 1999 upset of Kentucky at Bud Walton Arena.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Kareem Reid celebrates following Arkansas' 1999 upset of Kentucky at Bud Walton Arena.

Kareem Reid believes playing at the University of Arkansas saved his life.

Reid, 43, who spoke at the Downtown Tip-Off Club on Monday at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel in North Little Rock, was discovered by then-Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson in the King Cotton Classic in Pine Bluff while playing for New York City's St. Raymond High School in 1993.

But Reid, who graduated from St. Raymond in 1994, was forced to sit out the 1994-1995 season because of his ACT score and was admitted at Arkansas as an NCAA Proposition 48 student. (Prop 48 is a regulation that stipulates minimum high school grades and standardized test scores that students must meet to participate in NCAA sports.)

"Coach Richardson took a chance on me," Reid said. "Most coaches wouldn't. I want to thank Coach Richardson and the state of Arkansas for having me."

While at Arkansas, Reid was an All-SEC freshman team selection in 1996 and a second-team All-SEC selection in 1997.

In 1995-1996, Reid helped lead the Razorbacks to the Sweet Sixteen. The next season, Arkansas played in the NIT semifinals.

Reid finished his collegiate career as the all-time leader in assists at Arkansas (748) and third in steals (251).

Reid earned his degree in 2017 at Arkansas after a professional basketball career, which included stints overseas and with the Harlem Globetrotters. He played for the Arkansas RimRockers in 2005-2006, the Arkansas RiverCatz in 2006-2007, and the Arkansas Aeros in 2007.

Reid played in the McDonald's All-American Game in 1994. He recalled when he was named to the team over future NBA All-Star Allen Iverson, who was sentenced to five years in jail in 1993 for his role in a brawl in Hampton, Va.

"I got it by default. Allen Iverson went to jail," Reid said. "He teases me every day about that. 'You weren't the No. 1 point guard, I was.'

"I feel bad that he had to go through that, but I got to play in the McDonald's All-American Game."

Currently, Reid is a coach with the Arkansas Athletes Outreach program in Fayetteville and is coaching a ninth-grade girls team and an eighth-grade boys team.

"Kareem Reid coaching the girls team. Yes," Reid joked.

Reid had a message for the Tip-Off Club crowd Monday.

"You can never beat hard work," he said. "Hard work is always going to beat talent. That's life."

The Razorbacks' 73-71 victory at Texas A&M on Saturday impressed Reid, who added that former coach Nolan Richardson would have been proud.

"He would have came in the locker room and said, 'Oh, that counts as two wins,' in his eyes," Reid said. "We're going to be impressed with that team. They're going to work hard. They're going to listen to Coach [Mike] Anderson.

"I think this team is going to be up. We're going to be proud of the display they put on the floor this year."

Sports on 01/08/2019

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