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Benjamin Roy Armstrong Junior

Benjamin Roy Armstrong Jr. of the Chicago Bulls entered the National Basketball Association with high hopes and desire to earn a championship ring. He was born September 9, 1967 in Detroit, Michigan and learned to play basketball against his father, who would never let him win.

Benjamin Senior said “Nobody is ever going to give him anything, if he wants to win, he has to earn it.”

He attended high school at Brother Rice where his jersey was retired in 1991. He finished fifth in voting for Michigan’s “Mr. Basketball” title his senior year. He set 17 records at Brother Rice, while averaging 27 points and 5 rebounds a game for a team that finished 20-4. In one game he tallied a career-high 51 points in one game and made 26 of 27 free throws in another. In 1984-85 season, he was named to All State, All City and All Conference teams in high school. He captained the US All-Star team in the 1985 Albert Schweitzer Games in Germany.

At the University of Iowa, B.J. would heed his father’s word and the advice of his coach Tom Davis. Coach Davis suggested that a solid jump shot would improve his basketball abilities. He practiced his shooting everyday, by shooting up to 1,500 shots per day. The practice paid off when Iowa reached the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Basketball Tournament, his three pointer against Oklahoma sent Iowa to the Elite Eight of the tournament, where they lost to University of Las Vega. He teamed with Roy Marble and Ed Horton to form one of the highest scoring trios in the nation.

In his final year at Iowa, he led the Big Ten in assists with a 6.1 average per game. He shot .443 (136-307) from three-point range over his four years at Iowa. He was also featured on the cover of Sporting News magazine.

He finished his career with the all time assists record with 517, third all time scorer, third in steals (178) and fourth in points (1705) for Iowa. He also holds the record of going 11-for11 from the three point line in a game versus Wisconsin.

He was named to the All-West Regional Team in 1987 and was selected to the All Big Ten team as a Junior at Iowa. Also at Iowa, he met Jennifer Hornsby, who would eventually become Mrs. Jennifer Armstrong in 1996.

In June of 1989, the Chicago Bulls drafted him with the 18th pick in the NBA draft. In his first year he played in 81 games and averaged 5.6 points a game and second in team free throwing percentage. He holds the season record for longest streak of consecutive free throws with 28. He missed only one game due to the Lakers playing Magic Johnson the entire game that the Bulls played. Thus B.J. was unable to get off the bench. This would be the only game he would miss until 1997. That would be a string of 577 regular season games and 617 playoff/regular games. He now ranks ninth fro consecutive games played in NBA History.

Over the next three seasons, he improved his scoring as his playing time increased. However he did not become a starter for the team until Bulls Coach Phil Jackson asked him to improved his three point shooting. Not only did he improve his three point shooting he won the NBA’s Three Point Field Goal Percentage title with a .453 (63-for-139) average.

”You always want to bring new things to your game, I remember Magic and Bird always talked about adding new twists. The three point shot was mine.” B.J. once said. In 1993 he became a starter for the Bulls, replacing the Cleveland Caviler’s GM John Paxon.

B.J. earned his first All-Star appearance replacing Michael Jordan at the shooting guard position.

Appeared in Nike ad in 1994 and spotlighted on the NBA on NBC during the 1995-96 season.

BJ Armstrong Records

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