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Retired basketball forward, Sean Elliott, was born in Tucson, Arizona. Sean Elliott played high school basketball at Cholla High School in Tucson, Arizona graduating in 1985 and played college basketball at the University of Arizona. Under the tutelage of Lute Olson, Elliott was selected as a consensus all American during his junior and senior years. Winning the Wooden Award after an exceptional senior season.
Sean Elliott was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round in 1989, and spent the majority of his career with the Spurs, with the exception of 1993-94, during which he played for the Detroit Pistons. Elliott was an instrumental part of the Spurs' successful NBA title quest in 1999. In Game 2 of the 1999 Western Conference Finals, he hit a 21-foot shot against the Portland Trail Blazers which gave the Spurs a one-point lead with 9 seconds left. The shot was called "Memorial Day Miracle" because of its improbability. The pass was nearly stolen by Blazer Stacey Augmon, and Elliott caught the ball within an inch of the sideline (narrowly avoiding going out of bounds), and had to stay on his tiptoes rather than planting his feet; when he let go of the ball, it just avoided the outstretched arms of six-foot-ten opponent Rasheed Wallace. This play shifted the momentum of the series to the Spurs.
Shortly after the championship run, Elliott announced that he had played despite having a kidney disease, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, and that he would require a transplant. He underwent surgery on August 16 of that year, receiving a kidney from his older brother, Noel. On March 13, 2000, Elliott became the first player to return after a kidney transplant, in a game against the Atlanta Hawks. He announced his retirement in 2001.
Elliott's career high was 41 points against the Dallas Mavericks on December 18, 1992. He finished his career averaging 14.2 points per game, 4.3 rebounds per game and 2.6 assists per game. Elliott is the all-time franchise leader in three-point field goals made (563) and attempted (1,485). He is also the only player in Spurs history to rank among the franchise's top ten in six different statistical categories: games played (third, 669), points (fourth, 9,659), rebounds (sixth, 2,941), assists (seventh, 1,700), steals (eighth, 522), and blocks (ninth, 257).
He played for the US national team in the 1986 FIBA World Championship, winning the gold medal.
After retiring, Sean Elliott was basketball analyst for The NBA on NBC and, during the 2003-2004 season, for ABC Sports and ESPN. He left that position for the 2004-2005 season and became the color commentator for the Spurs' local broadcasting.
On March 6, 2005, his #32 jersey was retired and hung in the rafters of the AT&T Center. Early in his Spurs' career, he garnered the nickname "Ninja" in reference to his tenacious defense.