Scot L. Pollard was born on February 12, 1975 in Murray, Utah. He is the son of Marylyn and the late Pearl Pollard. His father, along with Utah Jazz owner Larry Miller and Celtics GM Danny Ainge, were among the inaugural class of inductees voted into the State of Utah Hall of Fame in 1999.
Pollard played high school basketball for three years at Torrey Pines High School in San Diego, California He then moved to Kennewick, Washington and played for Kamiakin High School his senior year. Kamiakin High is generally considered to be the top public high school in all of southeastern Washington of size 3A or 4A. The school is named after Kamiakin, a chief of the Yakama Tribe in the 1800s and a leader of the Native American side in the Yakima War.
After graduating from Kamiakin, he attended the University of Kansas, where he graduated in 1997 with a degree in education. A two-year starter at center, Scot Pollard helped lead the University of Kansas to four straight appearances in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament. Pollard compiled career averages of 9.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.70 blocks per game. He shot better than 50 percent in each of his four seasons and had a .549 career field goal percentage. Pollard finished sixth in Jayhawks history among free throw shooters, with 358; fourth in rebounds with a total of 850; and second place in blocked shots, with 218. He graduated from Kansas with a degree in education.
Pollard was selected 19th overall in the 1997 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons. In his rookie season, he played 33 games with the Pistons and averaged 2.7 points per game, as well as 2.2 rebounds and 0.3 assists. He was traded in January 1999 to the Atlanta Hawks for Christian Laettner, but Pollard never played a game with them and was waived almost a month later. He was signed as a free agent by the Sacramento Kings in February and he played there until 2003. With the Kings he suffered an injury and only played in sixteen games during the lockout-shortened 1999 season. It was during his stint with the Kings that he became a solid backup to center Vlade Divac and often started at Power Forward at times as well when Chris Webber was injured. His best season as a pro was the 01-02 season when he played in 80 games and averaged 6.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and .9 blocks in 23.5 minutes per game. Pollard spent the 2002-03 NBA season plagued, once again, by injuries and played in only 23 games.
He was traded to the Indiana Pacers in July of 2003. His main contribution to the Pacers was on the defensive end. He played an average of about 12 minutes per game. In his 3 seasons with the Pacers, he played in 61, 49 and 45 games, missing considerable time each season with injuries that included a back injury and plantar fasciitis. Pollard's contract with the Pacers expired following the 2005-06 season. In Indiana, Pollard felt restricted as the Pacers played a slower brand of ball than he was used to with the Kings. On August 18, 2006, Pollard signed a one-year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He played in only 24 games last season with the Cavs and averaged 1.0 points and 1.3 rebounds. Pollard missed 59 games last year, most due to a stress fracture in his lower back. He finished the season strong, however, including a 13-point, 16-rebound game in a victory over the Pacers on April 1.
Pollard wore number 31 with the Kings and with Cleveland because it was his father’s number in high school and at the University of Utah, but he changed to 62 when he went to the Pacers. With the Celtics, he will wear 66 because as he said, all the other numbers are retired. HoopsHype says this of Pollard:
Plays with heart... Will fight for every ball... Long arms... Outstanding rebounding skills... Loves to grab the offensive rebound... Runs the floor well.
Pete Dorchak, who blogs for Pacers Pulse, had this to say about Pollard:
About Pollard: He's going to be a solid center at the back end of the bench. He can backup Perkins and Garnett well and is a very good rebounder and defender. A good player to have at the end of the bench.
Pollard is known more for his bizarre hair cuts than his is for his play. Pollard's hair-dos have included a Mohawk, a single pony tail and a bald head. On January 2, 2006, he introduced a different hair style even for him when he wore two pony tails during a Pacers home game against the Sonics. On March 11, 2007, Pollard caused some controversy when he looked into the camera during a 20-second timeout and audibly said, "Hey kids... do drugs." He later apologized and said that he was only joking around.
Some lesser known facts about Pollard include the fact that he is an ex-Mormon. He studied to be a teacher at Kansas University. When he was younger he had to do 500 hours of community service for grand theft. When he was in college, he used to paint his toenails. He has two brothers taller than him and he wears size 19 shoes. His first car was a 1972 Cadillac and he enjoys vintage cars and old music.
Pollard should be a solid back up center for us this season if he can stay healthy. But, given his back problems from the last few years, that is a big if. If nothing else, his sense of humor should liven up the locker room and his hair styles will keep the fans guessing.