Charles Barkley ’86, a health and physical education major, established himself during three years playing basketball for Auburn as one of the most dominant players in the sport. Taken fifth overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1984 NBA draft, Barkley quickly emerged as one of the league’s most exciting players in the league to watch. Barkley joined the Phoenix Suns in 1992, the same year he won a gold medal at the Barcelona Summer Olympics as part of the original USA “Dream Team.” He would earn another gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics before retiring from the NBA in 2000 with the Houston Rockets.
Voted one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history, Barkley was the 1993 season MVP, an 11-time NBA All-Star, a five-time All-NBA First Team selection and one of only five players in NBA history with 23,000 points, 12,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists. Auburn University, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Phoenix Suns have all retired his #34 jersey. In the years following his retirement, Barkley has co-hosted TNT’s “Inside The NBA,” earning sports Emmy awards in 2012, 2013 and 2017 for “Outstanding Sports Personality.” He has authored four books, amassed numerous film and television credits and is a household name thanks to his quick wit and outspoken personality. The Charles Barkley Foundation, founded in 1995, has provided endowed scholarships to Auburn, Alabama A&M, Morehouse College and Clark-Atlanta University.
He and his wife, Maureen, reside in Trussville.
In His Words
“When I got here in ‘81, I never expected my life to turn out like it did...I’ve fulfilled all of my goals, dreams and ambitions, and it all started here. From the bottom of my heart, I just want to thank everybody, and to the day I die, War Eagle!”