Tucson a Basketball Town


Robert A. Elliott is founder and president of Elliott Accounting, an accounting, tax, management, and investment advisory services firm. Bob is currently the lead director for UNS Energy and has served as the chairman of the Board of the NBA Retired Players Association, Tucson Airport Authority, Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, University of Arizona Alumni Association, and Tucson Urban League. He is currently serving as a board member of AAA of Arizona, the NBA Retired Players Association, the University of Arizona Foundation, and the University of Arizona Eller College of Business. Elliott is a member of Sigma Pi Phi fraternity and is a NAACP life member.

Bob Elliott enjoyed a twenty-seven-year television and radio broadcasting analyst career. He has voice credits with EA Sports for NBA Live 2003, 2002, and 2001, as well as NBA Street. He played professional basketball for the New Jersey Nets for three years. Elliott was a three time college basketball Athletic and Academic All-American, and he is the only University of Arizona athlete to be a member of the College Academic All-American Hall of Fame.

Eric Money was drafted in the second round by the Detroit Pistons and enjoyed a six-year career in the NBA with the Detroit Pistons, New Jersey Nets, and Philadelphia 76ers. He averaged 12.2 points per game in his NBA career.

Money was also one of the many professional basketball players to appear in the 1979 film The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh starring Julius “Dr. J” Erving. He is currently coaching and providing individualized player development for kids.

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In 1972, the University of Arizona built McKale Center, a basketball arena that seated nearly 14,000 people. Filling that arena would present considerable challenges: the Wildcats hadn’t been to an NCAA post-season tournament for over two decades, and attendance at Bear Down Gymnasium, which holds 3,000, was dismal.

Enter Fred Snowden. Tasked with developing a basketball program that would justify the existence of the arena, the newly appointed head coach exceeded all expectations. He assembled a staff of high-quality assistant coaches, recruited dynamic, talented players who made the games exciting to watch, and—perhaps most importantly—got the Tucson community to support those players. He accomplished all of this while receiving hate mail and death threats from people who didn’t approve of the Wildcats being led to victory by the first black coach in NCAA division one for a major school in a major conference.

Tucson a Basketball Town shines a light on an often overlooked chapter in UA history. Fans of the game will be sure to root for Coach Snowden as he transforms Tucson into the basketball town we know and love.


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