Jeff Sluman, Professional Golfer
Before Florida State alumnus Jeff Sluman won his first PGA Major Championship in 1988, he was often on hand in Tully Gymnasium to watch his beloved Seminoles play basketball. Before graduating from Florida State in 1980, Sluman watched in awe as some of the all-time greatest to don the Garnet and Gold, including Mickey Dillard and Murray Brown, battled some of the greatest college basketball teams and players in the country in one of the high flying eras of Florida State Basketball.
Sluman still follows the Seminoles (in every sport) and was in the sold-out crowd at the Donald L. Tucker Center on February 24, 2020 when No. 6 ranked Florida State defeated No. 11 ranked Louisville, 82-67, in an atmosphere that will not soon be forgotten.
As we continue to celebrate Head Coach Leonard Hamilton and Florida State’s success in 2020, seminoles.com sat down with Sluman for #celebritysightings – the Hottest Ticket in Tallahassee. It’s a series of interviews that showcases the celebrities who had a courtside seats for the Seminoles’ magical run to the ACC Championship.
You were at Florida State during one of the Golden Eras of Florida State basketball. Did you spend a lot of time in Tully Gym watching the Seminoles play?
Yes. Tully Gym was a very small and intimate place to watch a basketball game. I remember watching Louisville with the McCray brothers (Rodney and Scooter) and Darrel Griffith come in to play Florida State in 1978 and Hugh Durham and his guys ran them out of the gym.
Who is the greatest college basketball player you have ever seen play in person?
Darrel Griffith of Louisville (1976-80).
What are your greatest memories of a game-ending finish in the NCAA Tournament?
I specifically remember two moments. I remember Christian Laettner hitting the turnaround jumper for Duke against Kentucky in 1992 and Tyus Edney of UCLA taking the inbounds pass and going the length of the court to beat Missouri in 1995.
Do you fill out your own NCAA Tournament bracket and have you ever picked the winner?
No, but if I had filled one out this season, I would have picked Florida State to win. My wife and my daughter have fun with the bracket, but I have never picked the winner.
Have you ever played golf against/with a college basketball player? Who? Can you rate his game?
I’ve played with Michael Jordan maybe six times. It’s fun to see what a strong golfer he’s developed into.