Born: June 3, 1960 (Independence, KS)
Graduated: Independence High School, 1978 / University of Arkansas, 1982
For Scott Hastings, his love for basketball began when he was seven years old. When his dad would play rec league games, Hastings would run around the gym because he loved playing so much. Hastings was always playing some sports, but his favorite was basketball. By the time Christmas rolled around, he was always ready to open his presents because he knew he was going to get a brand-new basketball.
As a youth, Hastings spent hours honing his craft. On Saturdays, he would play at his neighbor’s house until it got too dark to continue. Playing all the time with his friends was “a giant influence” on his passion for the game. He also wore out the pavement on outdoor courts all over his hometown of Independence.
Of course, it helped to have a community college in his town that had won a few national championships too. “I was getting to play against college players who had competed for a title,” said Hastings. Having the opportunity to play against collegiate athletes helped him develop not only into a great high school player, but helped him at the next levels as well.
Hastings led his high school to the state championship during his senior year, and was also named High School Player of the Year by the Topeka Capital Journal. Hastings was heavily recruited out of high school, including offers to stay in-state, but chose to go to the University of Arkansas, then coached by Kansas Sports Hall of Fame inductee Eddie Sutton.
Coach Sutton and Hastings had a special relationship. “Coach Sutton became a second father to me,” said Hastings. Although Hastings grew up cheering on the University of Kansas, when he went on a visit at Arkansas, “it just felt right,” and he committed that same day.
Hastings was a star for the Razorbacks from the beginning. He was a four-year letterman. He earned All-Southwest Conference honors as a sophomore, junior, and senior after leading the Hogs in scoring and rebounds all three seasons. He garnered back-to-back All-American selections in 1981 and 1982 and averaged over sixteen points per game both seasons. He scored 1,779 points at Arkansas, claiming the second most points scored in school history at that time.
Hastings was drafted in the second round of the 1982 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks. Although he was traded to Atlanta Hawks halfway through his rookie campaign, Hastings has fond memories of his time in New York, saying, “I was fortunate to play there for half of my rookie season.” Hastings spent the next five seasons in Atlanta before playing one season with the expansion Miami Heat and two seasons with the Detroit Pistons. While in Detroit, Hastings helped the Pistons claim their second of back-to-back NBA titles in 1990.
Hastings finished his final two professional years with the Denver Nuggets in 1993.
Before playing in the NBA, Hastings described himself as “the scorer and go to guy.” That changed when he arrived in the NBA, but through eleven professional seasons and nearly 600 professional games, Hastings always found a role to help make his teams better.
When asked his thoughts on being a part of this year’s class of inductees into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, Hastings said, “I’m honored. I was shocked and surprised when I got the call. Kansas will always be home.”
Welcome home, Scott.
By: Julia Jorns