Darrell Griffith, “Dr. Dunkenstein”

Honorary Chair, Healthy Hoops®Kentucky

Darrell Griffith was born on June 16, 1958 in Louisville, KY to Monroe and Maxine Griffith. In 1976, Darrell graduated from Male High School and was listed as the #1 high school player in the nation. He was also the first high school basketball player to be invited to the 1976 Olympic trials and it was during this time that he was offered a professional basketball contract. 

In April 1976, University of Louisville Coach Denny Crum signed Darrell Griffith, a 6′ 4″ guard, who earned the nickname, “Dr. Dunkenstein” for his aerial exploits (notably, his vertical leap of an amazing 48 inches). He led the school to its first NCAA basketball championship in 1980 and became Louisville’s career scoring leader by averaging 22.5 points per game. In 1981, Darrell was drafted by the Utah Jazz and played 11 years in the NBA, averaging 16.5 points per game in his career with Utah.

Darrell’s connection to the University of Louisville includes graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Communications in 1980 and playing basketball for the U of L Cardinals from 1976 to 1980. In addition to being the proud father of four, Darrell is also businessman and Special Assistant to the President at U of L.

Darrell has a long reputation of serving as an advocate for children, which is reflected in his appointment as an Honorary Board Member for STAR, Systematic Treatment of Autism & Related Disorders, and as Honorary Chair of Healthy Hoops® Kentucky.

Darrell has been the recipient of many awards and honors beginning in 1976 when he was selected as College Freshman Basketball Player of the year. In 1980 he was selected as College Basketball player of the year, named NBA Rookie of the Year in 1981, and inducted into the Kentucky Hall of Fame in 1996. Darrell was honored at The 100 Black Men of Louisville Luncheon in 2000. In 2003, Yellow Cab, a division of Louisville Transportation Company, began honoring U of L football and basketball legends by numbering their “Cardinal Cabs” with the athlete’s number; Griffith was honored with Cardinal Cab #35.