Not only is Tom Selleck known for his iconic mustache, but fans also recognize him for his stature— something that helped him gain a basketball scholarship to USC.
He may have starred in a film about a baseball player, yet off-camera, Selleck was a basketball star in the 1960s at USC.
Before solving cases on “Magnum P.I.” and starring in movies, Tom Selleck actually had his sights set on turning basketball into his professional career.
While Selleck was born in Detroit, Michigan, his family moved to Sherman Oaks, Calif., when he was a child. As a kid, Selleck had always dreamed of getting into the University of Southern California. However, his parents couldn’t afford the tuition costs.
After graduating from Grant High School in 1962, Selleck enrolled at Los Angeles Valley College. At the time, he lived with his parents to save money.
However, after the end of his junior year, Selleck received a basketball scholarship to USC. Once accepted, he played with the USC Trojans men’s basketball team while majoring in Business Administration.
At the time, Selleck was a 6-foot-4, 200-pound forward for USC. In the 1965-66 season, he scored four points in seven games for the Trojans. He was scoreless in three games in 1966-67.
According to an excerpt from USC, Tom Selleck was considered an “Agile and quick performer who adds depth on front line. Business administration major is good jumper with fine mobility. Rapidly improving shooter has impressed coaches with his hustle in practice. Needs to work on defense”
Until his senior year in 1967, Tom Selleck played on the team. He then dropped out of college after receiving encouragement from his drama coach to pursue acting.
Life for Tom Selleck After USC
Although he never reached the NBA, Selleck has gone on to have an acting career that’s spanned over 30 years.
Some of his most prominent roles are that of Peter Mitchell in the film “Three Men and a Baby,” Dr. Richard Burke on the ’90s hit show “Friends,” A.J. Cooper on the series “Las Vegas.” He also starred as NYPD Commissioner Frank Reagan in “Blue Bloods.”
Recently, CBS renewed the series for its 10th season, with Selleck signing a one-year contract with the network.
“Let me say that it’s not like you can get a new detective and bring him to the family dinner table. These people are related,” he told Deadline of his commitment to the role. “As long as my fellow actors wanted to come back, and that was my only real criteria, I was coming back.”