Nick, New Port Richey, FL
Subj: Magnum P.I.
Tom Selleck seems to tower over everyone on his TV show Jesse Stone. Was he ever a basketball player?
Absolutely, Nick. The mustachioed 6’4” actor was an outstanding high school hoopster who earned a scholarship to play basketball at Montana State University. However, the prospect of living in Bozeman didn’t appeal to him and he graciously declined the school’s invitation. "I always wanted to go to USC,” Selleck recalls, “but even though I was a good athlete no one was breaking down the doors for me.” So, Selleck spent the next two years attending Los Angeles Valley Junior College before transferring to USC in his junior year. “I didn't go to USC on a basketball scholarship,” he explains, “but I said, 'If I make your team I'm going to need some help,' because my parents were borrowing money to send me there.” A deal was reached and Selleck spent the next two years playing for the Trojans. Although he never became a star on the hardwood he was still an integral part of the team’s success. "My one brush with greatness--I've told Kareem Abdul-Jabbar about this--was that I was him,” he says fondly. “During practice at USC, the guys who weren't going to play in the real game would learn the offense of the team we were going to play next, and often I would be Kareem running the UCLA offense against my teammates."