CORDOVA, Tenn. — Former University of Central Arkansas basketball standout Jimmy McClain, who played alongside Scottie Pippen on some of the Bears’ best teams in 1986 and 1987, was found dead in his Cordova home Friday morning, the victim of an apparent homicide, according to police reports.
Shelby County Sheriff’s spokesman Chip Washington confirmed that investigators were working the death of Jimmy McClain, 49, a homicide — the first of the year in unincorporated Shelby County. The neighborhood is near the Cordova Country Club, which has not yet been annexed by Memphis.
Some sheriff’s department personnel were entering the house in hazardous materials-type suits, which Washington said was probably to protect evidence at the scene. Washington did say that the suits were part of evidence-gathering and there was no indication of meth-related activities in the house.
A 6-foot-4 guard from UCA, where he was a teammate of Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen, McClain’s 41-inch vertical jump gave him the nickname "Jimmy Jam." It also was the foundation for his explosive scoring and unshakable confidence. McClain was from Hamburg, the same hometown as Pippen and the duo formed a formidable backcourt for UCA.
His last pro stint in Memphis was with the Fire of the United States Basketball League. He was a player in 1994, and then became coach of the financially struggling franchise in 1995.
McClain most recently had been assistant basketball coach at Ridgeway High in Memphis.
During his playing days, he was a hoops vagabond, suiting up for various minor league teams, including the Memphis Rockers, the Memphis HotShots and the Memphis Fire. In addition to his assistant coaching duties at Ridgeway, he also went into the ministry.
Conway boys tie Springdale in soccer
The Conway boys soccer team opened the season Friday night with a 1-1 tie against Springdale, the defending 7A state champions.
It was a benefit game for the Arkansas Activities Association’s catastrophic insurance fund.
After a scoreless first half, Springdale scored eight minuts into the second half off a deflection from a Conway defender.
With six minutes left, Conway had a free kick from 40 yards out. Matthew Williams took the kick and placed the ball inside the goal box and Geoff Gough was fouled on the attempted header. Senior Victor Ramirez sent the resulting penalty kick into the back of the net to tie the score at 1-1.
The Cats will play Christian Brothers Academy at 5 p.m. Friday at John McConnell Stadium.