In this week's What the Hell Happened to segment, we remember Todd Lichti.  Todd was the #15 overall pick out of Stanford back in 1989.  At the time he graduated, he was the all time leading scorer at Stanford.  After a solid rookie season in which he averaged 8 points in 16 minutes a night, Todd was involved in a car accident with his girlfriend at the time, Kirstin Gravrock.  Gravrock was driving while she fell asleep at the wheel in Nevada and died.  Todd was in the passenger seat and suffered injuries.  Not career-threatening injuries but he admits:

"That may have had an impact on me going to Europe (in 1994) and moving on, " he said. "All of a sudden the NBA didn't seem maybe as important as it was when I was striving to get there."

The next season Todd started off strong with Denver averaging 14 points but injuries derailed the rest of his career.  He was traded the summer before Denver's miraculous playoff run to Orlando for Brian Williams (Bison Dele).  After 4 games with the Magic, he'd make the seemingly-mandatory Golden State stop for 5 games, before signing with the Celtics on March 29, 1994.

I must admit: I don't remember Lichti playing for the Celtics back in that 1994 campaign, even though I did get to see a good bunch of their games on WSBK (I was too obsessed with hoping Jimmy Oliver would pan out).  I remember him being drafted out of Stanford and playing for the Nuggets.  I remember his Star Pic card that I had.  Thankfully I can't be too hard on myself since he only played 4 games for Boston during that dreadful 1994 season.  [Tangent time: Even though that team finished with a better record than the 1997 and 2007 teams, I still feel they were the worst Celtic team I saw.  They had an elderly Robert Parish and a surprising Dino Radja.  The 1997 team had rookie Antoine who would have a better NBA career than Dino.  And the 2007 bunch had Pierce and a lot of promising youngsters.  That 94 team was all NBA has-beens.  I think they'd lose a 7 game series to the other teams based on how they played.]

That ended the NBA career of Lichti though he'd go over to Australia to play with Andrew Vlahov a teammate of his at Stamford who convinced him to play for the Perth Wildcats.

I feel this article accurately (even if depressingly) sums up Lichti's NBA career.

Today, Todd lives in Melbourne, Australia with his wife Sue (who designs clothes) and has developed an Australian accent.  Don't believe me?  Watch him here speak about his son Bronx (fast forward to 2:30):

His son's name is Bronx (pretty cool).  Maybe he was trying to somehow bring his American roots to Australia by giving him that name.  If you go to the actual Youtube page, you can see a comment by Kristie Nausin Huddy who claims to have been neighbors with Todd when they were 6 years old.  This has no relevance to anything, but I thought it'd be appropriate to place in this article.  Other than that, Todd and his wife run a small wine distribution business.

For a list of all the "What the Hell Happened To" Series please click here.

tb727 11/07/2010 12:01:00 AM Edit
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9 Responses so far.

  1. fresh says:

    As always, great job on these what the hell... articles. They are always a great read.

    I remember reading a bio about Lichti in a one of those NBA annuals that come out before the season started. It raved about his ability to slash to the hoop, and that he was incredibly ambidextrous and could shoot or finish with either hand with ease. When he signed with the C's a few years later I was psyched (just like i was about anyone we signed back then). Sadly, he turned out to be just another scrub on a forgettable mid 90s C's team.

  2. tb727 says:

    Thanks Fresh.

    Yeah I remember Lichti was really known as a slasher, something you wouldn't necessarily associate with a white guy from Stanford (I'd think more like Casey Jacobsen- a shooter). I think that car accident really messed him up. He had an awesome playoff game his rookie year vs the Spurs.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I met Todd Lichti through a guy in Denver (Mike Porricelli) and played a few games of hoop at a gym in Cherry Creek. Post pro days, Lichti was still a very difficult guy to defend as at any given time he could take it to the hole or pull up for a jumper. Both Mike and Todd were great guys and fun to hang out with.

  4. tb727 says:

    That's interesting Anonymous, thanks for sharing. Sounds like Todd is a great guy.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Todd was one of my coaches at summer basketball camp during my grade school years. His commitment and dedication to the game was one you just don't see. Our community was thrilled with all the achievements he made. And to top it off . . . he was a nice guy. Here you had a college standout and NBA player who still made the time to stop by the local basketball camp and share his time with all us kids.

    I wish Todd and his family all the best. I have been wondering what he was doing and am glad he shared his story.

  6. Anonymous says:

    uh oh is Todd Lichti challenging Ronnie Grandison for nicest Celtic ever lol?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I always wondered what happend to Todd! I grew up on the watching all these players. My dad was the Assistant Coach for many of these players while they were at Stanford and I knew so many of them! Todd was always one of my favorites! Such good memories!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I watched Todd play when he came to the Australian NBL to play for the Perth Wildcats.

    I'm guessing he never really got to where he should have with the injuries etc, but he was a pleasure to watch and as mentioned before a real nice guy to go with it.

    He retired from the Cat's back in 1998 and to this day he's still my favourite player.

    Nice article.


    Adam from WA

  9. tb727 says:

    Thanks Adam from WA

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