Eric Chenowith: Where Are They Now?
Eric Chenowith arrived in New York City this week with an opportunity to watch two historic teams play in the building he holds in high esteem. Of course, Chenowith is no ordinary fan.
The former Kansas Jayhawks standout and 2001 New York Knicks second round draft pick expressed his appreciation for two buildings during his recent visit to Madison Square Garden.
“I’m undefeated in the Garden,” Chenowith joked on Monday night. “So, that’s a good thing. I didn’t stick on the roster long enough to play regular season games with the Knicks but other than Allen Fieldhouse, there is nothing like this. Playing in Allen Fieldhouse is the basketball venue in the world. Number two would have to be Madison Square Garden. These are the two Meccas of the basketball world for sure.”
Chenowith’s seven-year pro basketball career officially started as the 42nd overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft when Knicks President Scott Layden nabbed him and Michael Wright (Arkansas) in the second round that year. Although he didn’t make the team’s regular season roster, the Jayhawk spent the next seven years playing ball with eight different NBA teams and multiple stints in the D-League and international leagues.
“When you draft in the second round and you have a chance to get two big guys that you’ve liked for a period of time, you have to be happy with that,” Layden told media present at the Knicks offices at Penn Plaza late-night after the draft in June of 2001. “Eric’s a big guy with good hands. He can score. He’s got a nice soft touch.”
The 7-footer is no longer a professional basketball player but he has made a smooth transition into a career with ties to the game. After retiring in 2008 and a stint as a high school coach, Chenowith pivoted to the life and disability insurance business five years ago. He now insures college and professional athletes for Parq Advisors while keeping a close eye on Kansas basketball and the NBA from his home in Newport Beach.
“I have a multitude of clients playing in the NBA,” Chenowith explained. “You know, when guys are in their contract year, they will buy disability insurance to get them to protect future earnings until their next contract. I have a few guys playing tonight and it’s always good to see them have healthy and successful careers.”
Chenowith played for the Knicks summer league team in 2001, spent four seasons at the University of Kansas, and was slected to the McDonald’s All-American Team in 1997.