Glen ‘G-Money’ Rice: Greatest Modern-Era College player of all time – a documentary

October 31, 2022
glen rice documentary

One of the greatest 3-point shooters in history is undoubtedly Glen Rice. Glen Rice showed early signs of ascending to greatness in his second season with the Michigan Wolverines. From then on, he would further solidify his legacy as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, players for the Wolverines, setting numerous records for the team during his four years there that are still in use today.

Table of Contents

Early life and high school career

Glen Anthony Rice was born in Jacksonville on May 28, 1967, despite frequently being identified as from Flint, Michigan. The family relocated to Benton (Saline County) when Rice was a few months old, where they settled in the Ralph Bunche Community. 

Elementary Career

Rice went to Angie Grant and Howard Perrin elementary schools in Benton. Rice’s family relocated to Flint, Michigan, when he was twelve years old, and he attended Flint Northwestern High School until he graduated in 1985.

College Career

During his era at the University of Michigan, some of his most notable accomplishments included leading the Wolves to a championship with his NCAA-record 184 points in tournament play. Which still stands, and averaging 25.6 points per game season while shooting a mind-blowing 52% from three-point range. Initially projected to go somewhere between the first round, Rice’s success at the event immediately increased his stock to a consensus top-5 choice.

From 1985 through 1989, Rice played four seasons of collegiate basketball for the University of Michigan Wolverines, starting in three of those seasons. With 2,442 points, he became the school’s all-time leading scorer. He helped Michigan win the 1989 NCAA Men’s Div. I Basketball Championship and set an NCAA record by scoring a tournament-high 184 points, a mark that has stood the test of time. In addition, Rice was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player and made the second team of the Associated Press All-America after averaging 25.6 points per game and shooting 58% from the field and 52% from three-point range throughout the season. Rice was invited to test out for the 1988 American Olympic basketball team after his junior year, but he was cut before the group of 48. Rice’s No. 41 jersey was retired on February 20, 2005, at a ceremony held at Michigan’s Crisler Arena. On April 10, 1989, Rice appeared on the Sports Illustrated cover.


In several statistical categories, Rice is still among Michigan’s all-time leaders, including:


  • First in men’s career points (2,442)
  • First in single-season points (949 in the 1988–89 season)
  • First in single-season field goals made (363 in the 1988–89 season)
  • First in single-season field goal attempts (629 in the 1988–89 season)
  • First in single-season 3-point field goal % (51.6% in the 1988–89 season)
  • Second in career field goals made (1,003)
  • Second in single-season 3-point field goals (99 in the 1988–89 season)

NBA playing career

Due to his remarkable and record-breaking NCAA Tournament performance, Rice’s value increased before the start of his senior year, and the Miami Heat selected him fourth overall in the 1989 NBA Draft.

Miami Heat

After ranking bottom in the NBA in terms of points per game in 1988–89, the Heat, an expansion franchise in the NBA, needed some offensive assistance as they entered their second season. Rice was asked to contribute some of the scoring load despite being a rookie, joining other young players like Sherman Douglas and Rony Seikaly. Rice, who started 60 games in his first year, averaged 13.6 points per game; just 18 games were won by the Heat, who finished behind Douglas and Seikaly and headed for the lottery.


The team’s performance the following year only slightly improved from 18 wins to 24 wins, but Rice started every game he played and upped his point production to 17.4 pts. Per game, give way for the team in three-point field goals with 71.


Rice and the Heat would experience a breakout year in 1991–1992, as the club improved to 38 victories and included other up-and-coming stars like Steve Smith and Brian Shaw. Rice, who had taken over as the team’s leading scorer at this point, led the Heat to their first playoff series when the inexperienced squad was swept by the reigning champion Chicago Bulls. It is headed by Michael Jordan, who averaged 22.3 points per game and 155 3-point field goals (second in the league). Despite this, the Heat lost more games the following season, and Rice’s scoring average dropped to 19 as Seikaly and Smith carried a heavier scoring load.


Rice led the Heat back into the playoffs and to their first-ever postseason game victory over the Atlanta Hawks in the 1993–94 season, averaging 21.1 points per game. However, the Heat could not win the tense first-round series, in which the Hawks won 3 games to 2.


Rice had a league-best 22.3 points per game average in 1994–95 and made 185 three-pointers (6th in the league). Rice competed in the NBA All-Star Long-Distance Shootout at the 1995 All-Star game in Phoenix, even though he was not chosen to play in the yearly NBA All-Star Game. Rice won the competition, beating out fellow sharpshooter Reggie Miller. Later in the season, he scored 56 points on 20 of 27 field goal attempts, including seven three-pointers, in a nationally broadcast game against Shaquille O’Neal and the Orlando Magic. For the 1994–95 NBA season, the 56 points were high. The Heat was unable to get to the playoffs despite his accomplishments.

Charlotte Hornets

Days before the 1995–96 season began, newly appointed Coach/GM Pat Riley orchestrated a deal in which Rice and Matt Geiger were transferred to the Charlotte Hornets in return for low Hornets center Alonzo Mourning, who had refused to enter into contract negotiations.


Together, Rice and the Hornets’ star forward Larry Johnson helped the team reach 41 victories. With 21.6 points per game, Rice was the team’s leading scorer. He was also the team’s leader in 3-point field goals (171) and 3-point shooting percentage (42%). Although the Hornets were selected and chosen to play in the NBA All-Star Game that year, they could not advance.


Rice would become recognized as a top player in the league during the 1996–97 season. Johnson had been replaced by veteran players Vlade Divac and Anthony Mason, and the Hornets had also hired NBA great Dave Cowens as their new head coach. Rice averaged 26.8 points per game during the season, good for third in the league. He also led the league in minutes played and three-point shooting (47%). He has elected to the 1997 NBA All-Star Game for the 2nd time in a row thanks to his performance, and he set individual All-Star game records by scoring 20 points in the 3rd quarter and 24 points in the 2nd half to end with 26 points overall.


With a shooting effort of 8-11, including 4-5 three-pointers, Rice eclipsed Philadelphia player Hal Greer’s 1968 record of 19 points with 20 in the third quarter. Rice broke the old record of 23 points in a half held by Wilt Chamberlain and Tom Chambers. The NBA’s 57 Most Memorable All-Star Moments list includes Rice’s performance. He won the NBA All-Star Game MVP Award for contributing to the Eastern Conference’s victory in the contest. The Hornets finished with a 54-game winning streak and advanced to the 1997 Playoffs, where they were swept by the New York Knicks 3-0.


The 1997–98 season saw Rice average 22.3 points per game, ranking eighth in the league, 2nd in the league in mins played and scoring 16 pts in the 1998 NBA All-Star Game. The Hornets had a 51-game winning streak and overcame the Atlanta Hawks in the 1st round of the 1998 Playoffs before falling to the reigning champion Chicago Bulls in the second round. Due to a league lockout, the 1998–1999 season began late and only lasted 50 games. The Hornets traded Glen Rice to the Los Angeles Lakers on March 10, 1999.

Los Angeles Lakers

In 1999, Rice was moved once more for Elden Campbell and Eddie Jones, two other public favorites. Rice was leaving a Hornets team in disarray after a 4-month lockout, and the deal did not instantly sit well with Laker fans and supporters, but Rice was seen as the final piece that would allow the Lakers to return to the NBA Finals. Rice was returning from an elbow injury that required surgery, Anthony Mason was out for the season, Coach Cowens resigned, and the owner faced legal issues.


After Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, Rice became the Lakers’ third leading scorer following the trade. General manager and Laker legend Jerry West believed this trio could lead Los Angeles to another NBA title. Rice averaged 18 points per game while the Spurs drifted the Lakers in the 1999 Playoffs.


Before the 1999–2000 NBA season, the Lakers hired 2nd picked head coach Phil Jackson, who had previously coached the Chicago Bulls, had Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen on their roster, and had won six NBA Championships. The Lakers also acquired A.C. Green, Ron Harper, and Rice’s old Miami colleagues John Salley and Brian Shaw. The Lakers won 67 games to take first place in the Western Conference, powered by the all-star play of Bryant and O’Neal, who won the MVP award for the season. As the team’s third option, Rice started 80 games and led the Lakers in scoring with an average of 15.9 points on 84 three-point attempts.


Rice had a career-best postseason performance in the 2000 Playoffs, averaging 12.4 points per game and shooting 41 percent from outside the arc. To go to the 2000 NBA Finals and face the Indiana Pacers, the Lakers had to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, and Phoenix Suns in the opening three rounds of the playoffs.


Bryant had an ankle injury in the second game of the Finals, and Rice scored 21 pts. To help the Lakers go up 2-0 in the series. On average, Rice scored 11.5 points per game throughout the series, including 16 points and three three-pointers in Game 6 of the Lakers’ 4–2 victory over the Pacers to win Rice’s first and only NBA title.


Even though the Lakers had won the title, there had been a lot of drama going on behind the scenes with Rice, head coach Phil Jackson, and general manager, Jerry West since the Lakers were swept by the Spurs and before they eventually won the title. According to a rumor, Rice was angry that the Lakers chose to use their $7 million option on him for the 1999–2000 season instead of letting him become a free agent. 


Close buddy Shaquille O’Neal, who felt some responsibility for bringing Rice to the Lakers, thought Rice was the pure shooter he needed to avoid being double- and triple-teamed in the playoffs (and trading Eddie Jones to do it).


After being traded for fan favorite Eddie Jones, Rice was ultimately unable to win over Los Angeles fans, with many pointing to Rice’s poor defense and inability to succeed in the triangle scheme. The unhappy Rice was eventually traded to the New York Knicks.

New York Knicks

Rice would fill the team’s sixth-man position in New York and give the Knicks some much-needed bench help. He participated in 72 games in the 2000–01 season, scoring 12 points on average. In the 25 games, he started, Rice scored more points than any other Knicks player nine times, averaging 14.2 points and 5.2 rebounds. Although Rice’s defense is frequently cited as the cause for his departure, his career thefts put him 145th among all NBA players (958).


Rice’s time with the Knicks lasted just one season since he was limited by plantar fasciitis in his foot and struggled to carve out a place for himself in N.Y. behind Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell. He subsequently moved to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Shandon Anderson following the season in which the Raptors defeated the Knicks in the opening round of the 2001 Playoffs in five games.

Houston Rockets

After being reduced to a third option with both the Lakers and Knicks, Rice was pleased initially to return to a starting role in Houston, where he joined a young team that included Cuttino Mobley and Steve Francis. In Houston, things moved slowly since Rice was still recovering from the foot ailment that kept him from playing more than 20 games in the 2001–02 season. Rice would play in 62 games the following season, including 26 starts, and score an average of 9 points per contest for a Rockets squad that now included center Yao Ming. He was dealt to the Utah Jazz for John Amaechi after the 2003–04 season, although he later signed with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Retirement and the Los Angeles Clippers

Rice’s career was finally sidetracked and ended by a knee injury (partially torn tendon). He reached an 18,000-point milestone in the final season with Clippers, achieving this feat as the 48th player in the history of the NBA. He would retire after just 18 games, appropriately on February 18, 2004, against the Lakers.

The Present and Personal Life

In terms of his private life, Glen has been wed to Tia Santoro since April 2016. However, they have been dating intermittently since the 1990s. 


Glen and Bella Rice have a daughter, but he also appears to have had previous marriages, as he also has five children from those other relationships: G’mitri Rice (born April 22, 1992), Brianna Rice (born February 26, 1999), Giancarlo Rice (born August 28, 2001), Giovanni Rice (born February 5, 2004), and Bella Rice (born July 28, 2010). He is also the father of NBA Development League player Glen Rice Jr. The Philadelphia 76ers selected Rice’s son, Glen Rice Jr. (born January 1, 1991), as the 35th overall choice in the 2013 NBA Draft.

Rice has cemented his place in history as one of the greatest players from beyond the arc and as one of the greatest modern-era college players of all time.