In today’s AllClemson.com Basketball flashback, we reflect on the career of former Clemson basketball standout Chris Hobbs (2000-2004).
Prior to his time in Clemson, the Chapel Hill, N.C., native helped his East Chapel High School Wildcat basketball team to the 1997 NCHSAA 3A State Championship as a freshman. The State title was quite a memorable one as it was the school’s first season of varsity competition.
Hobbs played his first three seasons for the Tigers under head coach Larry Shyatt and played his senior campaign under Oliver Purnell. The 6-foot-7, 260-pound power forward played in 116 games, overcoming a torn ACL injury in high school prior to arriving on campus.
Hobbs earned a spot on the ACC All-Rookie squad averaging 7.3 points and 6.3 rebounds his freshman season, finishing the year with a total of 190. His rebound mark as a rookie is the fifth-most in program history putting him in company with Tree Rollins, Trevor Booker, Sharone Wright and Dale Davis.
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He followed his solid freshman season with a career-high 11.6 points per game as a sophomore. He shined in the Tigers' trip to his home state to battle No. 1 Duke, scoring 25 points and securing nine rebounds. Hobbs averaged 6.3 and 7.6 points, respectively, in his junior and senior seasons.
For his career, Hobbs scored 961 points-carrying a .528 field goal percentage-while corralling 679 rebounds.
Upon graduation, Hobbs played professionally overseas before returning home to North Carolina and working in business. Unfortunately, Hobbs passed away on Monday, Feb. 16, 2015, at his home in Durham, N.C., at the age of 33. Initial reports suggested he suffered a heart attack. However, that was never officially confirmed.
In a released statement following Hobbs untimely passing, Shyatt spoke highly of his former player and his resiliency to battle back after his ACL injury in high school.
“Chris had to overcome adversity from the beginning of his career because he suffered a torn ACL in high school and that set him back. But we told him from day one that we would honor his scholarship. He overcame the injury to be a starter for us and he made a significant contribution to the Clemson program on the court and as a team leader. What a fine young man.”
Hobb’s high school head coach Rat Hartsfield told The News and Observer he knew from the first day he laid eyes on him that Hobbs was a special player. His instinct didn’t lead him astray as the freshman was a key factor in the team’s state title run.
“Chris was a gentle giant, always laughing and smiling and was a natural leader for the Wildcats,” Hartsfield said. “But he could also flat out lay it on people. He was as much a warrior on the court as a gentleman off the court.”