Steve Scheffler looks back on his 'Cinderella ride'

Less than two weeks ago, ESPN's Michael Jordan 10-part documentary "The Last Dance" concluded. Episode 8 of the series highlighted Jordan and the Chicago Bulls championship over the Seattle Supersonics — their fourth title in six years.

Posted: May 29, 2020 12:10 AM
Updated: May 29, 2020 1:19 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Less than two weeks ago, ESPN's Michael Jordan 10-part documentary "The Last Dance" concluded.

Episode 8 of the series highlighted Jordan and the Chicago Bulls championship over the Seattle Supersonics — their fourth title in six years.

That Supersonics team featured Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp and former Purdue standout Steve Scheffler.

Scheffler took a chance playing college basketball and it paid off.

"If I had to do it again, I wouldn't bet on me getting as far as I did," Scheffler said. "I was very fortunate."

Scheffler never folded the hand he was dealt.

"I had a nice Cinderella ride," Scheffler said.

That ride wasn't always nice. Scheffler had trouble reading. The Grand Rapids, Michigan was diagnosed with dyslexia at an early age.

"On the basketball court, it wasn't much of an issue," Scheffler said.

But Scheffler still struggled on the hardwood and it was obvious to one of his college coaches.

"He told me, 'you were the worst recruiting mistake in Purdue basketball history,'" Scheffler said. "'If you want to do spring football, practice is starting up and we know the football coach would love to have you.'" Hint, hint could we please be free of this basketball scholarship because this guy is a Forest Gump on our team! This guy is never going to make it."

Dunk Forest! Dunk!

Scheffler proved all his coaches wrong. As a senior, the 6-foot-9 center won Big Ten Player of the Year. The same year, Scheffler was selected in the second round of the 1990 NBA Draft.

Scheffler played sparingly over in his seven-year NBA career but was a fan favorite especially with the Seattle Supersonics. In 1996, Scheffler and Seattle earned a trip to the NBA Finals.

Officially I was in the game in the NBA Finals when it counted and was able to do something good," Scheffler said. "Then when we got the ball back on offense I was promptly taken out of the game but I didn't care and we ended up winning the game."

Scheffler and the Sonics won the game but lost the series to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.

Nearly 24 years later, 'Schef' is back in Grand Rapids. He's married with children and owns his own business. The now-52-year-old bet on himself and won big. But about the rap video he starred in during his playing days:

"That was before the internet," Scheffler said. "I go to a neighborhood picnic right? I'm like bygones be bygones and our neighbor picks up the phone and is like, 'look at this!' That's not fair. Yeah it's there. I'm a rapper."

Scheffler can rap but he has yet to watch "The Last Dance." He plans to watch his alma mater play this upcoming season. Scheffler, his brother Tom, who also played for the Boilermakers and their 92-year-old father try to catch a game every year.

West Lafayette
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 89°
Kokomo
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 84°
Rensselaer
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 83°
Fowler
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 83°
Williamsport
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 89°
Crawfordsville
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 86°
Frankfort
Overcast
85° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 86°
Delphi
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 85°
Monticello
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 85°
Logansport
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 84°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 45952

Reported Deaths: 2650
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11387679
Lake4872240
Elkhart308543
Allen2677114
St. Joseph184965
Cass16369
Hamilton1484100
Hendricks136699
Johnson1235118
Porter68537
Madison64363
Tippecanoe6408
Clark62244
Bartholomew57844
Howard54356
LaPorte53925
Kosciusko4952
LaGrange4596
Jackson4553
Noble44728
Vanderburgh4306
Hancock42935
Delaware42648
Boone42242
Shelby41625
Marshall4123
Floyd36344
Morgan32031
Montgomery28720
Grant28526
Clinton2792
Dubois2606
White25810
Monroe25628
Decatur24632
Henry23515
Lawrence23124
Vigo2248
Harrison20822
Dearborn20422
Warrick20129
Greene18431
Miami1802
Jennings16911
Putnam1658
DeKalb1594
Scott1547
Daviess13916
Orange13323
Wayne1286
Franklin1248
Steuben1232
Perry1209
Ripley1127
Carroll1092
Jasper1092
Wabash1072
Fayette967
Newton9510
Whitley814
Randolph764
Starke733
Huntington702
Wells681
Jay670
Fulton661
Jefferson651
Washington641
Pulaski631
Knox620
Clay594
Rush573
Benton480
Adams451
Owen451
Gibson442
Sullivan441
Brown381
Blackford372
Posey350
Spencer311
Tipton301
Crawford290
Fountain292
Switzerland250
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Warren141
Union130
Vermillion130
Pike80
Unassigned0194

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events