Sean Elliott Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Sean Elliott    

Former NBA All-Star Forward & National Kidney Foundation Spokesperson at 2002 U.S. Transplant Games

Sean Elliott is an American former professional basketball player who starred at small forward in both the college and professional ranks. He began his basketball career at University of Arizona, where he was a two-time All-American, winner of the 1989 John R. Wooden Award, the 1989 Adolph Rupp Trophy, the 1989 NABC Player of the Year, 1989 AP Player of the Year, and two time Pac-12 Player of the Year (in 1988–1989).

Elliott joined the San Antonio Spurs in 1989. While playing for the Spurs, he earned a spot on the NBA All-Rookie Second Team, and proceeded to the Western Conference All-Star Team in 1992-93. He was traded to the Detroit Pistons for the 1993-94 season, and, battling injuries and illness, hit a career low, averaging 12 points per game. Mid-season the Pistons traded him to the Houston Rockets. However, the trade was later nullified because he failed a physical. In the off-season, the Pistons traded him back to San Antonio. Back with the Spurs, Elliott's career rebounded despite his failing health. After regaining his All-Star status in 1994-95, he had his best season in 1995-96, averaging 20 points per game.

Despite his performance on the court, in 1997 Sean was diagnosed with focal segmental glomerular sclerosis, a progressive kidney disorder. Determined to beat the disease, Elliott asked his doctor about treatment options. Elliott was fortunate to learn that his brother, Noel, matched the criteria for donating a kidney to him. After starting all 50 games in the Spurs' 1998-99 championship season, helping the Spurs to win their first NBA title, Elliott underwent a successful kidney transplant.

Elliott, who made sports history with his unprecedented return to the NBA just seven months after life-saving transplant surgery, served as spokesperson for the National Kidney Foundation and its 2002 U.S. Transplant Games. Elliott, who retired in 2001, joined his fellow transplant athletes for the second time at the event.

Related Speakers View all


More like Sean