15 Star Athletes Who Had to Walk On to Their College Teams

These pro athletes are stars now, but they had to work their way to the top.

Scottie Pippen

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Scottie Pippen

Michael Jordan was a high school sensation who received offers from the likes of North Carolina, Duke, N.C. State and Maryland. 

But his famous Chicago Bulls sidekick, Scottie Pippen, had a different recruiting experience. 

While Pippen had a good high school career, he was only 6-foot-1 (and skinny as a rail) his senior season. Pippen received no college scholarship offers and elected to walk on at Central Arkansas University.

After averaging only 4.3 points his freshman season, Pippen turned into a superstar. Aided by a growth spurt that shot him up to 6-foot-8, Pippen averaged 23.6 points and 10 rebounds per game his senior season. 

"When I grew up, I was just another kid who wasn't going to college. I didn't have any scholarship offers and there were times I wasn't even thinking about basketball. I just wanted to be in a positive environment and have a situation where I could lead a good life," Pipped said in 2010. "Basketball ultimately gave me that."

Pippen went on to become the fifth overall pick in the 1987 NBA Draft.

While he came off the bench during his rookie season, he soon developed into one of the league's best small forwards.

Pippen could certainly score, as he averaged a career-high 28.8 points per game in 1994, but his defense was perhaps his strongest attribute. Pippen made ten consecutive NBA All-Defensive teams during his career and is widely regarded as one of the greatest defenders in basketball history. 

Pippen ended his illustrious career with six NBA Championships.

Now 52 years old, Pippen still looks like he could get buckets.