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Stephen Dean "Steve" Bardo (born April 5, 1968) is a retired American professional basketball player who had a brief career in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is currently a college basketball analyst.

Stephen Bardo
20140814 World Basketball Festival Steve Bardo.JPG
Bardo at the 2014 World Basketball Festival
Personal information
Born (1968-04-05) April 5, 1968 (age 51)
Henderson, Kentucky
Listed height6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High schoolCarbondale (Carbondale, Illinois)
CollegeIllinois (1986–1990)
NBA draft1990 / Round: 2 / Pick: 41st overall
Selected by the Atlanta Hawks
Playing career1990–2000
Number42, 23, 25
Career history
1990–1991Quad City Thunder
1991Atlanta Eagles
1991–1992Quad City Thunder
1992San Antonio Spurs
1992–1993Dallas Mavericks
1993Wichita Falls Texans
1993–1994Teamsystem Fabriano
1994Wichita Falls Texans
1994–1995Chicago Rockers
1995Joventut Badalona
1995–1996Detroit Pistons
1996Chicago Rockers
1996–2000Toshiba Brave Thunders Kanagawa
Stats at


Basketball careerEdit

During his standout career at the University of Illinois, 6'5" Bardo scored 909 points and compiled 495 assists. He was part of the Flyin' Illini team that qualified for the 1989 NCAA men's basketball tournament Final Four. That Fighting Illini team gained the moniker "Flyin' Illini" by Dick Vitale while broadcasting a game during the 1988–89 season. Bardo was named Big Ten defensive player of the year in 1989. Along with Bardo, the other starting members of that team included Nick Anderson, Kendall Gill, Lowell Hamilton, Kenny Battle, and key reserve Marcus Liberty.

Bardo was selected in the 1990 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks, but never played for the team, playing one game (one minute) with the San Antonio Spurs during the 1991–92 NBA season. He also appeared for the Dallas Mavericks and Detroit Pistons, amassing 32 more regular season games, and leaving the National Basketball Association with per-game averages of 2 points, 2 rebounds and one assist.

Bardo also played in France, Italy, Japan, Spain, Venezuela overseas as well as the CBA (Quad City, Wichita Falls, Chicago). He enjoyed a 10-year professional playing career.

College statsEdit

Season Games Points PPG Assists APG Steals Big Ten
1986–87 31 119 3.7 85 2.7 23 13–2 23–8 NCAA First Round
1987–88 33 216 6.5 125 3.8 41 11–7 21–10 NCAA Second Round
1988–89 36 293 8.1 148 4.4 34 14–4 31–5 NCAA Final Four
1989–90 29 281 9.7 137 4.7 37 11–7 21–8 NCAA First Round
Totals 129 909 7.0 353 3.0 203 49–20 96–31 4 appearances


Since retiring in 2000, Bardo has worked in broadcasting. He has served as a color analyst for the Illini Sports Network, a sports reporter for WBBM-TV in Chicago, an analyst and reporter for CBS Sports, and a color analyst for college basketball on ESPN[1] and Big Ten Network. He has also participated on ESPN First Take. Additionally, he works as a motivational speaker,[2][3] and authored the book How To Make The League Without Picking Up The Rock.[1]

In May 2015, Bardo, who is African American, publicly criticized the University of Illinois's athletic department over the lack of diversity among prominent head coaches at the university.[4]


  1. ^ a b Keynote Speaker: Stephen Bardo
  2. ^ Stephen Bardo speaks about overcoming adversities, leadership[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Great Black Speakers profile Archived 2011-01-26 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Duber, Vinnie (May 30, 2015). "Ex-Flyin' Illini Stephen Bardo voices frustration on Twitter". CSN Chicago. Retrieved 5 February 2016.

External linksEdit