As a part of its series in celebration of Black History Month, the Razorback Athletic Department is saluting Trailblazers from the African-American community who have attended the University of Arkansas.
A fiery star out of Little Rock’s Hall High School and graduate of the University of Arkansas, Sidney Moncrief is a legend in Arkansas basketball history. A defensive specialist, Moncrief was also known as “Sir Sidney” and “Sid the Squid”. Fitting nicknames for when Moncrief played defense as it often appeared that he had eight arms rather than two. The 6’4” powerhouse was among one of the most complete players of his era; he demonstrated that he could shoot, post up, crash the boards, execute key passes, and drive the lane. Moncrief is best known for his aggressive defensive style and ability to always be the first one back on defense after a turnover or made basket.
Moncrief played guard for the Razorbacks from 1975 to 1979, under head coach Eddie Sutton. He was a strong compliment to the outside shooting of Marvin Delph and all-around play of Ron Brewer Sr. The infamous trio known as “The Triplets” that lead the Razorbacks to the 1978 Final Four and 1979 Midwest Finals. Moncrief averaged 16.9 points and 8.3 rebounds while at Arkansas and was Arkansas’ career record holder in rebounds (1,015). He shot .606 from the floor during his four collegiate seasons and earned All-America honors as a senior in 1978-79. He was a highly decorated player while at Arkansas and admired for his hard work, elegance, dependability and consistency on the court. He was named AP Freshman of the Year, Southwest Conference Most Valuable Player, elected to the Letterman’s Association Hall of Honor in 1988 and was named one of the 50 greatest athletes from Arkansas by Sports Illustrated. Moncrief held the school’s all-time leading scorer record until Todd Day broke his mark in 1992. He is the only Arkansas player to reach both 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in their careers.
Moncrief graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor’s of Science in physical education and played 11 years in the NBA. He was drafted No. 5 in the first round by the Milwaukee Bucks, where he played 10 of his 11 NBA seasons. He sat out for a year but returned for one last season as a free agent with the Atlanta Hawks before retiring. Moncrief was a five-time NBA All-Star, four-time All-NBA First Team, five-time NBA All-Defensive Team and Two-time Defensive player of the year. At Milwaukee, he averaged 16.7 points per game. He was also named to the All-NBA first team for the 1982-1983 season. He left the NBA with 11,931 points, 3,575 rebounds and 2,793 assists over 767 games.
Moncrief’s legacy at Arkansas recognizes his undeniable athleticism and ability to maneuver anywhere on the court but also for his class and humility he brought every time he went onto the court.