By Pat Harty
IOWA CITY, Iowa – B.J. Armstrong is finally starting to age since leaving college more than 30 years ago.
The former Iowa point guard, who won three NBA titles playing alongside Michael Jordan with the Chicago Bulls, looks to be in his late 20s these days.
While his appearance hasn’t changed much since Armstrong last played at Iowa in 1989, his life has been an amazing journey that now has him working as a sports agent for the Wasserman Group out of Los Angeles.
Armstrong was recognized for his accomplishments by serving as this year’s Grand Marshall for the University of Iowa Homecoming Parade.
He met with the media about one hour before the start of the Iowa football team’s game against Purdue on Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.
Armstrong addressed multiple topics and had the same innocent smile that made him so popular with Hawkeye fans during his celebrated playing days.
"From the first moment I stepped o campus it's been incredible, just meeting the people and the fans," Armstrong said. "I've always considered this home and the people here have always welcomed me with open arms. So it's great to be amongst family and friends.
"And we need a win today. We need this game today. So it's great to come back and see all the familiar faces and see how the university has grown. It's been a terrific weekend."
Armstrong burst on the national scene as a sweet-shooting, baby-faced point guard for the Hawkeyes in the mid-1980s.
He was recruited by George Raveling, along with Roy Marble and Ed Horton, and they became known as B.J., Roy and Ed while at Iowa, one of the greatest triumvirate’s in program history.
Iowa played in the NCAA Tournament in each of Armstrong's four seasons in the program.
Most of Armstrong's success occurred under Tom Davis, who replaced Raveling as head coach following Armstrong’s freshman season in 1986.
Davis’ up tempo offense and pressure defense fit well with Armstrong’s style of play as they both made each other better.
"As I was talking to (coach Davis) yesterday, he preceded the pace and space of the game that you really see now in the NBA," Armstrong said. "He really had it up tempo and just really playing at the pace where you're able to play and utilize a lot of different players.
"The one thing I think that we all embraced is when you play that style and play at that pace that you're able to include more players, So everyone had to be ready."
Iowa won 30 games and advanced to the NCAA Elite in Davis’ first season as head coach in 1986-87, and with Armstrong as the starting point guard as a sophomore.
"There's something about here and the fans here, the people, they just took to that team," Armstrong said.
Armstrong is Iowa’s fifth all-time leading scorer with 1,705 points and is fifth in assists with 517, an average of 4.0 per game.
He also ranks sixth in steals at Iowa with 178 and ninth in free throws with 403.
Armstrong said he met with Iowa men's basketball coach Fran McCaffery on Friday. McCaffery is entering his 10th season as the Iowa head coach and has led the Hawkeyes to four NCAA Tournament appearances.
"My impressions are they're going to be a very good team," Armstrong said. "They have some really good players and they're figuring out their roles on the team."
Armstrong played in the NBA from 1989 to 2000, his first six seasons with the Chicago Bulls. He also played for Golden State, Charlotte, and briefly, for Orlando.
Armstrong was thrust into more of a leadership role after Michael Jordan’s abrupt retirement in 1993, and Armstrong seized the moment by starting all 82 games, and by starting in the NBA All-Star game.
Armstrong was Chicago’s third-leading scorer during the 1993-94 season and his performance helped to establish him as a solid NBA point guard.