The National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) has a long and storied history of producing some of the finest athletes in the world. From the early days of college sports to the modern era of college athletics, the NCAA has always been a breeding ground for excellence.
The best players in the NCAA are no exception. These athletes have dominated their respective sports, setting records and leaving lasting impressions on the game.
From the basketball court to the football field, these players have achieved greatness and earned a place in NCAA history. We will look at some of the best players in the NCAA and what makes them so special.
1. Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Kyam Anthony is a basketball legend and one of the greatest players of all time. He had a lengthy career that spanned 19 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
During his time in the NBA, he was recognized for his impact on the game and was selected to 10 All-Star teams and 6 All-NBA teams. This is a tremendous honor as it acknowledges the respect he earned from his peers and the basketball world.
Anthony was known for his scoring ability, racking up over 26,000 points in his career which puts him 15th in the NBA’s all-time scoring records. He also averaged over 20 points per game over his career, making him one of the most consistent scorers in the game.
He was also a versatile player, able to play both the forward and guard positions. His ability to move effortlessly and quickly between different playing positions made him a unique asset to his teams. Throughout his career, Anthony was known for being a leader and mentor.
He was a vocal leader on the court and in the locker room, and his teammates often looked to him for guidance. He was also a leader off the court, doing charity work and giving back to the community.
His leadership and dedication to the game will be remembered by basketball fans for many years to come.
2. Emeka Okafor
Chukwuemeka Ndubuisi “Emeka” Okafor is an American former professional basketball player who had a successful career both in college and in the NBA. Emeka Okafor was born in Houston, Texas, and attended Bellaire High School in Bellaire, Texas.
While in high school he was a two-time state champion and was named the MVP of the state tournament in his senior year. He went on to attend the University of Connecticut, where he was a dominant force on the court.
In 2004, he led the Huskies to a national championship and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. Okafor was then selected second overall in the 2004 NBA draft by the Charlotte Bobcats and went on to play in the NBA for 12 seasons.
During his time in the league, Okafor was a two-time All-Star and won the NBA Rookie of the Year award in 2005. He also had stints with the New Orleans Hornets, Washington Wizards, and Phoenix Suns.
In 2019, Okafor retired from professional basketball and is now an analyst for the Big East Network.
3. Jimmer Fredette
James Taft “Jimmer” Fredette is an American professional basketball player who is most known for his impressive collegiate basketball career at Brigham Young University (BYU).
During his time at BYU, he was awarded many accolades, including the 2011 National Player of the Year award. He was also named to the All-American team multiple times.
After his impressive college career, Fredette was selected 10th overall in the 2011 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks and then immediately traded to the Sacramento Kings.
In the NBA, Fredette was not as successful as he was in college and he was unable to find a permanent role on the Kings. He was eventually traded to the Chicago Bulls and then again to the New Orleans Pelicans.
After bouncing around the league, Fredette ultimately chose to pursue opportunities overseas and he signed with the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA).
With the Sharks, he was able to produce great numbers and was the leading scorer in the CBA during the 2019-2020 season.
Fredette’s current whereabouts are unknown, but he will certainly be remembered for his incredible college career and his ability to produce points no matter where he plays.
4. Cael Sanderson
Cael Norman Sanderson is an accomplished wrestler who is now the head coach of the Penn State wrestling team. He has a long and successful history of competing in both folkstyle and freestyle wrestling and is a proud Olympic gold medalist.
Sanderson’s most impressive feat came while he was wrestling for Iowa State, where he won four NCAA Division I titles without being defeated in four years.
His incredible success as a wrestler has led to him being one of the most successful and respected wrestling coaches in the world. He is an inspiration to many aspiring wrestlers and his legacy will continue to live on for many years.
5. Reggie Bush
Reginald Alfred Bush Jr. is a well-known figure in the world of college football. He is an American former football running back who currently serves as an on-air college football analyst for Fox Sports.
He had a very successful college career, playing football at the University of Southern California (USC). During his time at USC, he earned consensus All-American honors twice and was awarded the Heisman Trophy, which is given to the most outstanding player in the nation.
His accomplishments speak volumes about his talent and dedication to the sport. He is a great example of hard work and determination paying off, and is an inspiration to all aspiring college football players.
6. Tim Tebow
Timothy Richard Tebow is a well-known American sports figure. He is a former football quarterback and current sports broadcaster. Tebow attended the University of Florida and played football for the Florida Gators.
During his college career, he made history by becoming the first underclassman to win the prestigious Heisman Trophy in 2007. This made him one of the most recognized college football players of the time and garnered him national attention.
Throughout his career, Tebow has achieved a great deal of success, both on and off the field. He has been a part of numerous philanthropic efforts and has been an inspirational leader for many.
After his collegiate career, he played in the NFL with the Denver Broncos, New York Jets, and New England Patriots. He is now a broadcaster for the SEC Network, providing insightful commentary on college football.
Tebow has become an icon of sports culture and continues to be a popular figure in the sports world.
7. Johnny Manziel
Johnathan Paul Manziel is a professional American football quarterback who currently plays for the Zappers of Fan-Controlled Football (FCF). The FCF is a league in which fans can call the players and select the players for the team.
Manziel has previously played in the National Football League (NFL) for the Cleveland Browns and the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He was the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, given to the most outstanding college football player, in 2012.
Manziel has also made a name for himself off the field, becoming a prominent figure in the media with his partying lifestyle. He has since taken a step back from the spotlight and is now focused on his career in the FCF.
Manziel is a talented quarterback who is sure to bring excitement to the Zappers this season.
8. Drew Timme
Andrew Matthew Timme is an impressive basketball player. He has achieved a great deal of success in college basketball, playing for the Gonzaga Bulldogs.
He has earned the prestigious honor of being a three-time consensus All-American selection and was even selected as a first-team honoree in his senior year of 2023. With this achievement, Andrew has proven his talent and dedication to the sport of basketball.
He has worked hard to develop his skills and improve his game, and it has paid off. His success in college basketball has opened up a great many opportunities for him, and he will likely continue to excel in the professional ranks.
9. Shane Battier
Shane Courtney Battier is an American former professional basketball player who has achieved great success in his career. He played college basketball for four years at Duke University and then went on to play in the NBA for thirteen years.
During his time in the NBA, Battier won two championships with the Miami Heat and was named to the NBA All-Defensive Team twice. After retiring from professional basketball, Battier began working for ESPN as an analyst.
Recently, Battier joined the board of Yext, a technology company based in New York. Battier is also well-known for his participation on the United States national team. He represented the U.S.
in the 2004 Olympics, winning a bronze medal, and again in the 2008 Olympics, winning a gold medal.
His leadership and ability to motivate his teammates were key to the success of the American teams. Overall, Shane Battier has had a very successful career in basketball, both in college and the NBA.
He is now continuing to make an impact off the court as an analyst and board member of Yext. His contributions to the U.S. national team have also been key to their success.
10. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a legendary basketball player who has made an indelible mark on the National Basketball Association. He began his professional career with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 and played there for six years, before moving to the Los Angeles Lakers in 1975.
During his time in the NBA, Abdul-Jabbar was a dominant force. His prowess on the court was unmatched, as he was named an All-Star a record 19 times, and was named the NBA Most Valuable Player a record six times.
In addition to his remarkable individual accomplishments, he also won six NBA championships, five of which were with the Lakers. Abdul-Jabbar was known for his signature skyhook shot, a notoriously difficult shot to defend against.
He also developed a number of other shots, such as the turnaround jump shot and the fadeaway jump shot, which have become staples of the modern game.
His skill and determination made him one of the greatest basketball players of all time, and his legacy will continue to live on for generations to come.
11. Christian Laettner
Christian Donald Laettner is an American former professional basketball player who is widely known for his college career with the Duke Blue Devils.
Laettner is highly regarded for his college career, as he was an integral part of the team’s success throughout his four years at Duke.
Laettner’s college career is considered by many to be one of the best in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) history. As a freshman, Laettner was a key contributor to the Blue Devils’ success, helping the team win the NCAA East Regional in 1990.
He was subsequently named to the All-Tournament Team and All-ACC Freshman Team.
Laettner continued his strong play in his sophomore year, leading the Blue Devils to the Final Four and being named First Team All-ACC and All-American. In his junior year, Laettner was named to the All-ACC and All-American teams again, and he led the Blue Devils to their second consecutive Final Four appearance.
In his senior year, Laettner was named the National Player of the Year, the ACC Player of the Year, and a First-Team All-American. He also led the Blue Devils to an NCAA Championship, and he was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.
Laettner was the only player in NCAA history to be named First-Team All-American all four years of his college career. Overall, Christian Donald Laettner’s college career with the Duke Blue Devils is widely regarded as one of the best in National Collegiate Athletic Association history.
He was a key contributor to the team’s success throughout his four years at Duke, and he was the only player to be named First-Team All-American all four years of his college career.
Laettner’s legacy as one of the greatest college basketball players of all time will likely remain for many years to come.
12. Anna Cockrell
Anna Cockrell is an inspirational American track and field athlete who competes in sprinting and hurdling. She achieved great success at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, where she won two medals.
This success earned her a place representing the United States at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. Anna Cockrell’s dedication and hard work has paid off.
Her two medals at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, are a testament to her talent and her commitment to the sport.
Her performance at the games was recognized internationally and she was chosen to represent the United States at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. Anna Cockrell is a great example of an athlete who has achieved success through dedication and hard work.
Despite the challenges she has faced in her career, she has persevered and achieved her goals.
Her two medals at the 2019 Pan American Games and selection for the 2020 Summer Olympics are a testament to her ability and determination. Anna Cockrell is a role model for aspiring track and field athletes.
Her success is an example of what can be achieved with hard work and dedication. She is an inspiration to those who are striving to achieve their own goals in track and field. Her achievements show that with the right attitude and effort, anything is possible.
13. John Wooden
John Robert Wooden was an American basketball coach and player who was known by the nickname “Wizard of Westwood”. He is remembered for his incredible success as head coach of the UCLA Bruins.
During his 12-year tenure with the Bruins, Wooden achieved a remarkable feat, winning ten National Collegiate Athletic Association national championships. Even more impressive, Wooden set a record by winning seven championships in a row.
His impressive run of success has earned him a place in the Basketball Hall of Fame, and his legacy lives on in the game today.
14. Patrick Ewing
Patrick Aloysius Ewing Sr. is a highly accomplished individual. He is a Jamaican-American basketball coach and former professional player who has achieved great success throughout his career.
He is best known for his time spent as a player for the New York Knicks in the 80s and 90s, where he was one of the most dominant players in the league. He was also a member of the original Dream Team, which won the gold medal in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.
After retiring from the NBA, Ewing went on to become a coach, first as an assistant with the Washington Wizards and then as the head coach for the Georgetown University men’s basketball team. He was the first coach to lead the Hoyas to the NCAA tournament in 13 years.
Ewing has since retired from coaching and is now an ambassador for the Georgetown basketball program. His career has been one of the remarkable success, and he is a true inspiration to many.
15. Jerry Lucas
Jerry Ray Lucas is an American former basketball player who achieved remarkable success in the sport. Lucas had an illustrious career that began with him being a nationally awarded high school player.
He then attended Ohio State University, where he became a national college star. He was then chosen to be part of the 1960 Olympic team and won a gold medal for the United States.
After his Olympic success, Lucas went on to become an international basketball star, representing the U.S. in multiple countries. Finally, Lucas achieved his final major basketball milestone when he starred as a professional in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
His career as a professional player helped to cement his status as one of the most successful basketball players of all time.
16. Bill Walton
William Theodore Walton III is a name well-known in the world of sports. He is an American television sportscaster who has been providing commentary on major sporting events for several years now.
He is also a former professional basketball player who had a successful career in the National Basketball Association (NBA). William was born in 1952 in La Mesa, California.
He attended high school in California where he excelled in basketball and was selected to the All-America team.
He attended college at the University of California before entering the NBA in 1974. During his career in the NBA, William was named to the All-Star team three times and was the MVP of the NBA Finals in 1977.
He also won two NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1980s. William retired from playing basketball in 1987 and soon began pursuing a career in television.
Since then, he has been a color commentator for the NBA on NBC as well as a studio analyst for The NBA on TNT.
He has also been an analyst for the Los Angeles Clippers, the San Diego Padres, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. William is highly respected among his peers and is considered one of the premier sportscasters in the business.
He has won several Emmy Awards for his work in broadcasting and has also been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
His basketball career and subsequent broadcasting career have earned him the nickname “Big Red.” Overall, William Theodore Walton III is an accomplished sports personality who has been successful in both his basketball career and his television career.
He is an important figure in the world of sports and will continue to be so for many years to come.
17. Bill Russell
William Felton Russell was a legendary American professional basketball player who played an integral role in the Boston Celtics’ success in the National Basketball Association from 1956 to 1969.
During his time with the Celtics, Russell won 11 NBA titles, the most championships for any player in NBA history.
He was a 5-time NBA Most Valuable Player, 12-time NBA All-Star, and a Hall of Fame inductee in 1975. As a center, Russell was known for his defensive prowess and his ability to anchor a team on the court.
He was a master of the pick-and-roll, a technique he perfected during his time in Boston.
He also had a knack for rebounding, leading the league in total rebounds four times during his career. Off the court, Russell was an outspoken civil rights activist, who used his platform to demand justice and equality for all people.
He was also an advocate for social justice and economic equity, often speaking out against unfair labor practices and racism. In his 13-year career with the Celtics, Russell left an indelible mark on the game of basketball.
He was a leader, a champion, and a pioneer of the modern game. His legacy will be remembered for generations to come.
18. Magic Johnson
Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. is a renowned American businessman and former professional basketball player. He is widely considered one of the greatest players in the history of basketball and was renowned for his skill as a point guard.
Johnson played in the National Basketball Association for 13 seasons, making an immediate impact in his rookie year by leading the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA Finals.
Throughout his career, Johnson was known for his amazing court vision, passing, and leadership, which helped him to become a five-time NBA champion and three-time MVP.
After retiring from the NBA, Johnson went on to become a successful entrepreneur and business leader, becoming the first African-American owner of a major sports team in the United States. He was also part of the 1992 Dream Team that won the gold medal at the Summer Olympics.
Johnson’s legacy in the world of basketball is undeniable, and his impact on the game will be felt for many years to come.
19. Oscar Tshiebwe
Oscar Tshiebwe is an up-and-coming professional basketball player from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
He is currently signed with the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association (NBA), and is also on a two-way contract with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA G League.
Tshiebwe has extensive experience in college basketball, having played for both the West Virginia Mountaineers and the Kentucky Wildcats.
His time at both of these schools has helped him to develop into a well-rounded player, ready to take the next step in the professional ranks. With his combination of size, athleticism, and skill, Tshiebwe is sure to make an impact for the Pacers and the Mad Ants alike.
20. David Thompson
David O’Neil Thompson is an iconic figure in the world of professional basketball.
He was an American professional basketball player who played in both the American Basketball Association (ABA) and National Basketball Association (NBA).Thompson began his basketball career in 1975 with the Denver Nuggets, playing in the ABA.
He quickly made a name for himself as a talented and dynamic player, leading the Nuggets to the 1976 ABA Championship. After the ABA-NBA merger in 1976, Thompson continued to play with the Denver Nuggets in the newly formed NBA.
He was a four-time NBA All-Star and the 1979 NBA scoring champion, averaging 27.2 points per game. In 1982, Thompson was traded to the Seattle SuperSonics, where he continued to make an impact.
He played two seasons with the SuperSonics before injuries forced him to retire in 1984. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996, cementing his legacy as one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
21. Zach Edey
Zach Edey is a Canadian college basketball player who plays for the Purdue Boilermakers in the Big Ten Conference. His height is listed at 7 feet 4 inches, making him the tallest player ever to compete in the Big Ten Conference.
In the 2023 season, his performance was remarkable, and he was honored with the prestigious Big Ten Player of the Year award and the consensus National Player of the Year award.
In the Big Ten, Edey has made a name for himself as one of the most talented and successful basketball players in recent history. He has proven himself to be a force to be reckoned with on the court and has shown he has what it takes to be a champion.
He is a great example of what dedication and hard work can bring, and his accolades serve as a testament to that.
22. Armando Bacot
Armando Linwood Bacot Jr. is an outstanding basketball player who is currently playing for the North Carolina Tar Heels in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). He is not only a talented basketball player, but he has also achieved great success in his college career.
Bacot holds the program records for double-doubles and career rebounds, which speaks to his impressive accomplishments. Bacot has been playing basketball since a young age and has dedicated a lot of time and effort to perfecting his skills.
His hard work has paid off, as he is now one of the top players in the ACC. He is a valuable asset to the Tar Heels, as he is an excellent rebounder and has the ability to put up double-doubles in multiple games.
His record-breaking feats of double-doubles and career rebounds speak to his strength as a player. Bacot is a great example of a successful college athlete. He has achieved great success on the court and has set program records that will be difficult to beat.
He is a dedicated player who puts in the hard work necessary to excel on the court. He is a leader in the Tar Heels program and has made a name for himself in the ACC.
23. Walt Hazzard
Mahdi Abdul-Rahman was an extraordinary athlete who enjoyed success in both college basketball and professional basketball. He attended the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and was a key contributor to their first NCAA National Championship in 1964.
His prowess on the court was recognized at the highest level when he was selected to be part of the US National Team that went on to win a gold medal at the 1964 Summer Olympics.
During his college career, Mahdi Abdul-Rahman was an instrumental part of the team’s success, averaging 14.7 points per game in his senior season. He was named to the All-Conference team and was a key contributor to the team’s championship run.
Following college, he went on to play professionally in the American Basketball Association (ABA). He played for the Los Angeles Stars, the Carolina Cougars, and the Utah Stars, helping lead the Utah Stars to the ABA championship in 1971.
After his playing career, Mahdi Abdul-Rahman began a career in coaching. He was an assistant coach for California State University Northridge and then moved on to become the head coach of the Cal Poly Pomona Broncos, leading them to three NCAA Division II Final Fours.
He also had stints as a high school coach and as an assistant coach in the NBA. Mahdi Abdul-Rahman was an outstanding athlete and coach who achieved great success in both college basketball and professional basketball.
His legacy will continue to be remembered for his tremendous accomplishments in the game.
24. Pete Maravich
Peter Press Maravich, famously known as Pistol Pete, was an American professional basketball player who made quite a mark in the sports world. Born in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania to Press and Helen Maravich, he was raised in North and South Carolina.
Pistol Pete is widely celebrated for his incredible skills on the court. He was an amazing shooter and incredibly fast with the ball, which allowed him to score at will.
His unique style of play was one of the reasons why he was so successful. Pistol Pete was an innovator in the basketball world. During his college career, he set numerous records, including the most points in NCAA Division I basketball history.
He also introduced the now-famous behind-the-back dribble and was the first player to bring showtime style to the game. He was an incredible player who could make incredible shots from anywhere on the court. The success of Pistol Pete didn’t just stop at college.
After college, he was drafted third overall by the Atlanta Hawks and was a five-time NBA All-Star.
He was a major contributor to the success of the New Orleans Jazz and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987.Overall, Pistol Pete was an incredible player who revolutionized the game of basketball.
His unique style of play, incredible shooting ability, and ability to make incredible shots from anywhere on the court is something that will never be forgotten. He is a true legend in the basketball world and his legacy will live on forever.
25. Bob Cousy
Robert Joseph Cousy is a legendary American basketball player who played professionally for over two decades. He is best known for his time with the Boston Celtics, where he was a six-time NBA champion and a 13-time All-Star.
Cousy is credited with revolutionizing the game of basketball and introducing the fast-paced, creative style of play that is still seen today.Cousy began his professional career in 1950 with the Boston Celtics, a team he would stay with for the next 13 years.
During this time, he established himself as one of the best point guards in the NBA. He averaged 18.4 points, 7.5 assists, and 5.2 rebounds per game over his time with the Celtics.
He was a six-time champion and was named to the All-Star team in each of his 13 consecutive seasons with the team.In 1963, Cousy retired from the Celtics and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
After a brief stint with the Cincinnati Royals in 1969-70, Cousy retired from the game of basketball for good. He remains one of the most recognizable names in the history of the sport and an iconic figure in Boston sports.
26. Darrell Griffith
Darrell Steven Griffith is a former professional basketball player who is best known for his nickname – Dr. Dunkenstein. He played for the Utah Jazz in the National Basketball Association from 1980 to 1991 and was an integral part of the team during his time with them.
Before his professional career, Griffith attended the University of Louisville, where he was an excellent player and was able to hone his skills before making it to the NBA.
During his time in college, he was one of the top players in the NCAA and made a name for himself as a powerful dunker, earning him the nickname Dr. Dunkenstein.
After his college career ended, he was drafted by the Utah Jazz in 1980 and went on to play for them for the entirety of his professional career. He was an important part of the team and was able to help them reach the playoffs numerous times.
Griffith was known for his powerful dunking ability and was able to make a name for himself as one of the best dunkers in the league during his time with the Jazz.
27. Danny Manning
Daniel Ricardo Manning is a respected name in the world of college basketball. He is an American college basketball coach and former professional player. He currently serves as the Associate Head men’s Basketball Coach at the University of Louisville.
Manning has established himself as a successful coach, having previously served as the head coach of Tulsa, Wake Forest, and McNeese State. Manning’s playing career began in college, where he played college basketball for the University of Kansas.
Following his collegiate career, he was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in the first round of the 1989 NBA Draft. He went on to play in the NBA for 14 seasons, primarily with the Kansas City Kings and the Indiana Pacers.
In his 14-year career, Manning averaged 11.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. Throughout his coaching career, Manning has accumulated a record of 207–164. He has been the head coach of Tulsa, Wake Forest, and McNeese State.
He has also held assistant coaching positions at the University of Tulsa, the University of Missouri, and the University of Louisville.
Manning has been a part of two Final Four teams as an assistant coach. Manning is an experienced coach and respected leader in college basketball. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Louisville coaching staff.
He is committed to developing young players into successful players and helping them reach their full potential. With Manning’s help, the Cardinals have made several NCAA tournament appearances and won the ACC Tournament in 2020.
28. Austin Carr
Austin George Carr is a former professional basketball player who is highly regarded in Cleveland, Ohio. He was a part of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, and Washington Bullets teams during his career.
He was so popular amongst the Cavaliers fans that they affectionately referred to him as “Mr. Cavalier”.Austin George Carr was born in Washington D.C. He attended the University of Notre Dame, where he played basketball for four years.
After college he was drafted in the 1971 NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. During his time with the Cavaliers, he was renowned for his accurate shooting and his strong defensive skills.
He was a key member of the Cavaliers and helped them to their first division title in 1976. Carr’s time with the Cavaliers ended in 1980 when he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks.
He played two seasons with the Mavericks before moving on to the Washington Bullets in 1982, where he spent his final two seasons in the NBA. Throughout his NBA career, Austin George Carr was a beloved and respected figure.
He was inducted into the Cleveland Cavaliers Hall of Fame in 1997 and was given the honorific title of “Mr. Cavalier” by the team’s fans. He still holds the Cavaliers’ record for most points scored in a single season, with 1,744 points during the 1976-77 season.
To this day, Austin George Carr is remembered as one of the greatest players in Cavaliers history.
29. Cliff Hagan
Clifford Oldham Hagan is a renowned former professional basketball player who is remembered for his incredible hook shot. Standing at 6 feet and 4 inches tall, Hagan was an imposing figure on the court.
Nicknamed “Li’l Abner”, Hagan played the entirety of his 10-year NBA career with the St. Louis Hawks. His impressive hook shot was often the difference-maker in close games, and it is this skill that earned Hagan a spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Hagan’s skill and success did not come without hard work. He had to practice and hone his hook shot to become the player he was.
His career included various accolades and honors, including an All-American selection in 1953 and playing for the gold-medal-winning USA team in the 1952 Olympics. He was also selected to the All-Star team eight times between 1956 and 1965.
Hagan’s legacy lives on, as he is remembered for his incredible skill and success on the court. His hard work and tenacity helped him create a lasting legacy and forever be remembered for his incredible talent.
He is an example to basketball players everywhere that hard work and dedication can lead to great success.
30. Sidney Wicks
Sidney Wicks is a name that resonates with basketball fans. He was an American professional basketball player who had a successful career in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Wicks was born in California and attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he played college basketball for the Bruins.
His impressive performance in college basketball led to him being selected by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1971 NBA draft with the second overall pick. During his time in the NBA, he was a four-time All-Star, and he helped the Trail Blazers reach the 1977 NBA Finals.
He also won an NBA championship while playing with the Boston Celtics in 1981. After retiring from the NBA in 1983, he was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 1996.
Wicks is remembered as one of the best basketball players of his era, and his accomplishments continue to inspire generations of basketball players.
31. Grant Hill
Grant Henry Hill is an American professional basketball executive and former player. He is a co-owner of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, having originally acquired a stake in the team in 2015.
Hill’s playing career spanned 17 seasons and two teams in the NBA, the Detroit Pistons and the Orlando Magic. He was a seven-time All-Star and a five-time All-NBA team member and was one of the most popular players of his era.
In addition to his role as co-owner of the Hawks, Hill currently works as a basketball analyst for CBS and Turner Sports. He appears regularly on both networks to provide expert analysis and commentary on games and other news from around the league.
Hill’s insight and knowledge of the game have made him one of the most respected voices in the NBA.
32. Tyler Hansbrough
Andrew Tyler Hansbrough is a well-known professional basketball player who has had a lengthy and successful career in the sport.
He has played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for seven seasons, during which he was a part of the Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers, and the Charlotte Hornets.
His most recent team is Cangrejeros de Santurce, which is part of the Baloncesto Superior Nacional, a professional basketball league based in Puerto Rico. He has also had the chance to play internationally in leagues throughout Latin America.
Hansbrough has proven himself to be a reliable and consistent player, able to contribute to his team in a variety of ways. He is known for his determination and tenacity and is often praised for his ability to lead a team and set an example.
He has been able to put his skills and experience to good use while playing with Cangrejeros de Santurce and has helped them to become one of the top teams in the Baloncesto Superior Nacional.
Andrew Tyler Hansbrough is a respected figure in the basketball world, and he has had a long and successful career. He has been able to make an impact both in the NBA and internationally, and he has earned the admiration and respect of his peers.
33. James Worthy
James Ager Worthy is an accomplished former professional basketball player and current television personality. He is best known by the nickname “Big Game James” in recognition of his impressive performance in several important games throughout his career.
Worthy played his entire professional career with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Since his retirement from professional basketball, Worthy has had a successful career as an analyst, commentator, and television host.
He has appeared on a variety of shows, such as ESPN’s NBA Countdown and NBA on TNT.
Worthy has also served as a studio analyst for the Lakers television network, Time Warner Cable SportsNet, and was a color commentator for the NBA on NBC from 2002 to 2006. In addition to his television work, Worthy has been involved in various charitable and philanthropic activities.
He is a spokesman for the Special Olympics and a board member of the Hoop Dreams Foundation.
Worthy has also been involved with the Lakers Youth Foundation, an organization that provides educational and recreational opportunities to underserved youth in Los Angeles. Overall, James Ager Worthy has had an impressive career both on and off the court.
He has established himself as an outstanding professional basketball player, television personality, and philanthropist. His legacy as “Big Game James” will continue to live on.
34. Jaime Jaquez Jr.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. is a highly accomplished athlete and a rising star in the National Basketball Association. He currently plays for the Miami Heat and has established himself as one of the premier players in the league.
His college career was no less impressive, as he played for UCLA Bruins of the Pac-12 Conference and earned numerous accolades. During his senior year, he was named a consensus second-team All-American and voted the Pac-12 Player of the Year.
His accomplishments speak to his skill, dedication, and work ethic. He is a leader on and off the court, and his career is only just beginning.
35. Collin Gillespie
Collin Gillespie is a talented basketball player who is currently making his mark in the professional sports world.
He currently plays for the Denver Nuggets in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and is also on a two-way contract with the NBA G League’s Grand Rapids Gold.
Before becoming a professional basketball player, Gillespie had a successful college career at Villanova University, playing for the Wildcats. During his college career, he was able to make a name for himself, garnering attention from professional scouts.
His impressive performance on the court was rewarded with a spot on the Denver Nuggets roster. With his two-way contract with the Grand Rapids Gold, Gillespie will be able to develop his skills further and hone his abilities as a professional basketball player.
36. Ochai Agbaji
Ochai Young Agbaji is an outstanding basketball player currently playing for the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He started his basketball career with the University of Kansas, where he had a successful senior year.
During his senior year, Agbaji was honored with the prestigious title of First-Team All-American and voted as the Big 12 Player of the Year in 2022. This is a great accomplishment as it demonstrates his impressive skill on the court and his ability to lead his team to success.
Agbaji’s success at the University of Kansas has earned him respect and recognition from the basketball community, and it’s no surprise he was quickly picked up by the Utah Jazz.
37. Trayce Jackson-Davis
Trayce Jackson-Davis is an up-and-coming American professional basketball player. He currently plays for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Before joining the NBA, Jackson-Davis had a successful college basketball career with the Indiana Hoosiers. His impressive performances during his college career earned him recognition and recognition as one of the top prospects for the 2023 NBA Draft.
On draft night, Jackson-Davis was selected as the 57th overall pick by the Warriors. This selection marked the beginning of his professional basketball career, and he has since been working hard to prove himself and make an impact in the league.
With his athleticism, size, and skill set, Jackson-Davis has the potential to be a key contributor to the Warriors’ success in the future.
38. Bob Kurland
Robert Albert Kurland was an American basketball player who made a huge impact on the game. He was seven feet tall, which was extremely rare for the time and gave him a distinct advantage over his opponents.
He was an integral part of the Oklahoma A&M Aggies basketball team, helping them win two NCAA championships. His influence in the game extended beyond college to the international stage. He was a key part of the U.S.
basketball team that won the gold medal in two Summer Olympics. He also led his Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) team to three national titles. Kurland’s success in the game of basketball was unprecedented and his influence helped change the game forever.
39. Brandon Miller
Brandon Jordan Miller is an American professional basketball player currently playing for the Charlotte Hornets in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
He is a highly regarded player, having been a consensus five-star recruit at the college level when he played for the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Miller was one of the most sought-after high school prospects when he committed to Alabama in 2015, and he went on to have a successful college career, earning All-SEC honors as a senior.
He was selected in the second round of the 2020 NBA Draft by the Hornets and has since established himself as a reliable rotation player for the organization. His professional career has been marked by strong defensive play and a willingness to take on any challenge.
Miller is highly respected by his peers and coaches and is seen as a leader on and off the court.
40. Chet Holmgren
Chet Thomas Holmgren is a rising star in the NBA. He is currently playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder, having been selected by the team in the 2022 NBA draft with the 2nd overall pick.
Prior to being drafted, Holmgren played college basketball at Gonzaga University, where he made a name for himself as an impressive player.
As a freshman, he averaged 12.6 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks per game while leading the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet Sixteen. His sophomore year saw him record even more impressive stats, with averages of 16.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 3.1 blocks per game.
Between his athleticism, size, and skill, it was no surprise that he was selected so highly in the draft. Holmgren is now a key member of the Thunder team and is expected to have a long and successful career in the NBA.
41. Rick Mount
Richard Carl Mount is an iconic figure in American basketball history. He is a former American Basketball Association (ABA) player who began his illustrious career at Lebanon Senior High School in Lebanon, Indiana.
During his high school days, he made history by becoming the first high school boy representing a team sport to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
This was a feat that was unprecedented at the time and it has left a lasting legacy for generations of aspiring athletes to come. At Lebanon Senior High School, Mount was a standout player on the basketball team.
His athletic prowess and impressive skill set earned him the respect of his peers and earned him a spot on the cover of Sports Illustrated – a feat that was unheard of for a high school student-athlete.
His success in high school basketball set the stage for his professional career in the ABA. Mount would go on to have a successful professional career in the ABA, playing for five different teams over his career.
He was a consistent contributor, playing in all 82 games in three different seasons. His performance earned him recognition as an All-Star in 1975 and 1977, as well as being named to the All-ABA Second Team in 1975.
Richard Carl Mount is an inspirational figure in the basketball world and his legacy remains to this day.
His success in high school paved the way for an impressive professional career and his historic appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated has left a lasting impression on the basketball community.
He is an example of how hard work and dedication can lead to success, no matter what your background or circumstance..
42. Isiah Thomas
Isiah Lord Thomas III, more commonly known as “Zeke”, is a renowned American basketball player, philanthropist, and coach who is currently an analyst for NBA TV.
His career in basketball is celebrated and highly regarded, having been named to the NBA’s 50th and 75th-anniversary teams, and is the first player to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame while still playing. With 12 All-Star selections, Thomas had an impressive career in the NBA.
He was a leader on the court, leading his team, the Detroit Pistons, to two NBA championships. He was also a leader off the court, donating his time to various charities throughout the country.
Thomas was also known as an advocate for players’ rights, often speaking out against injustices and advocating for civil and human rights. Thomas also had a successful coaching career, leading the Indiana Pacers to three consecutive Eastern Conference Finals appearances.
His success as a coach was recognized when he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000, becoming the first African-American coach to receive such an honor. Today, Thomas remains a prominent figure in the NBA, having served as an analyst for NBA TV since 2011.
He is also involved in numerous charities and continues to speak out against social injustice and advocate for civil and human rights. Isiah Lord Thomas III, or “Zeke”, is a basketball legend and an all-around great man.
43. Gail Goodrich
Gail Charles Goodrich Jr. is a legendary former professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is renowned for his exceptional performance in the 1965 NCAA championship game against Michigan, where he scored an unprecedented 42 points.
This was the highest number of points scored in the championship game at the time. Goodrich was also a pivotal part of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 1971–72 season. This season saw the Lakers reach the NBA finals, with Goodrich playing an important role in the team’s success.
He was an integral part of the Lakers lineup, and his presence was a major factor in the team’s success. Goodrich was a highly skilled player, with a great eye for the ball and an ability to spot open teammates.
He was also a great shooter, with a knack for nailing shots from all areas of the court. His impact on the Lakers’ success is still remembered today, and his record in the 1965 NCAA championship game is still talked about.
44. Scott May
Scott Glenn May is an iconic figure in American basketball history. He had an illustrious career as a college player at Indiana University. In 1975–76, May led the Hoosiers to an unprecedented undefeated season and the national championship.
His individual accomplishments were remarkable as well. He was named a first-team All-American in both his junior and senior seasons and was crowned the national player of the year in his senior season.
May’s performance earned him a place in the Indiana University Athletic Hall of Fame, as well as the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. His legacy remains strong and he is remembered as one of the greatest college basketball players of all time.
45. Clyde Lovellette
Clyde Edward Lovellette was an American professional basketball player who made history by becoming the first person to be a part of a championship team in all three of basketball’s most prestigious competitions: the NCAA, the Olympics, and the NBA.
His outstanding achievements earned him a place in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988. Lovellette enjoyed an impressive college career, playing for the University of Kansas from 1951 to 1953 and winning the NCAA Championship in 1952.
This was the first time Lovellette had achieved a championship success. In 1952 he was also selected to join the U.S. Olympic Team and won a gold medal at the Helsinki Olympics. This was a major accomplishment, as it was his second championship in one year.
Lovellette continued to excel as a professional basketball player, joining the Minneapolis Lakers in 1954. He helped the team to win the NBA Championship in 1954, making him the first person in history to win championships in all three of basketball’s major competitions.
Lovellette was truly an outstanding basketball player who made history by becoming the first person to win championships in the NCAA, the Olympics, and the NBA.
His immense contribution to the game of basketball was honored when he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988.
46. Chris Mullin
Christopher Paul Mullin is a legendary figure in the world of basketball. He is an American former professional basketball player, executive, and coach who achieved an incredible amount of success during his career.
He is a two-time Olympic Gold medalist, having won gold medals in the 1984 and 1992 Summer Olympics.
He is also a two-time inductee to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, being inducted in 2010 and again in 2011. Mullin is most well known for his time in the NBA, where he played shooting guard and small forward from 1985 to 2001.
During his time in the NBA, he was a five-time All-Star, a two-time All-NBA First Team selection, and was even a part of the famous “Dream Team” that won the gold medal in the 1992 Olympics.
He also had a successful coaching career, having been the head coach of the Golden State Warriors from 2004 to 2009. Mullin is one of the most respected figures in the world of basketball.
He is a role model for many basketball players due to his achievements on and off the court. He is a true inspiration and has left an indelible mark on the sport that will be remembered for years to come.
47. Steve Alford
Stephen Todd Alford is a highly accomplished figure in the world of college basketball. He is the current head coach for the Nevada Wolf Pack of the Mountain West Conference.
Alford was born and raised in Indiana and had a successful college career playing for the Indiana Hoosiers. During his time with the Hoosiers, Alford was a two-time consensus first-team All-American.
He was also highly successful as a professional basketball player, playing for the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA. Alford has since gone on to have a successful coaching career, leading the Nevada Wolf Pack to some impressive victories.
Alford has a great understanding of the game of basketball and his teams play with a high level of intensity and focus. He is respected by his peers and players alike and is one of the most successful coaches in college basketball today.
48. Bobby Hurley
Robert Matthew Hurley is an experienced basketball coach and former professional player. He currently serves as the head coach of the Arizona State Sun Devils men’s basketball team. Prior to his current role, Hurley held the role of the head coach at the University at Buffalo.
Hurley was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, and grew up in a family of basketball players. He attended St. Anthony High School in Jersey City where he was named a McDonald’s All-American in 1983.
He went on to play college basketball at Duke University, where he was a four-year starter and a two-time All-American.
He helped Duke to three Final Fours and two NCAA championship games, including the 1990 national championship. Following his college career, Hurley was selected as the seventh overall pick in the 1993 NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings.
He played in the NBA for six seasons, including stints with the Vancouver Grizzlies and Denver Nuggets. After retiring from the NBA, Hurley returned to Duke to become an assistant coach.
He then served as the head coach at the University of Buffalo from 2013 to 2015 and was named the head coach of Arizona State in 2015, where he has led the team to two NCAA Tournament appearances and an NIT championship.
Hurley is widely respected throughout the basketball world and is renowned for his knowledge of the game and his ability to inspire and motivate his players. He is considered one of the top coaches in college basketball.
49. Cazzie Russell
Cazzie Lee Russell is a renowned name in the world of basketball. He is an American former professional basketball player and coach who is best known for being an NBA All-Star. In 1966, he was drafted by the New York Knicks as the first overall pick of the NBA draft.
This marked the beginning of his illustrious career with the Knicks. He was an integral part of the team which won the NBA championship in 1970. Throughout his career, Russell proved to be an invaluable asset to the New York Knicks.
He was a great shooter and was also known for his defensive skills. His leadership and his ability to read the game helped the Knicks to achieve success. He retired from the Knicks in 1977 but continued to be involved in the game.
He was an assistant coach for the Knicks for a brief period and also a part of the broadcasting team. Cazzie Lee Russell is one of the most admired basketball players of all time.
His outstanding skills on the court and his leadership skills have earned him a special place in the hearts of basketball fans. He will always be remembered for his contributions to the game of basketball and to the New York Knicks.
50. Tom Gola
Thomas Joseph Gola was an American basketball player and politician who made an immense impact in the world of basketball. He was a five-time All-American, the 1955 NCAA Player of the Year, and a three-time NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player.
Gola was a four-time first-team All-American, two-time first-team All-Big Five selection, and a member of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. He is widely considered one of the greatest NCAA basketball players of all time.
Gola was an integral part of the great La Salle Explorers teams of the 1950s. He helped the Explorers reach the basketball Final Four three times, each time leading the team to the championship game.
His career total of 2,462 points and 1,917 rebounds are both still school records. Gola was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1976 and the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame in 1977.
He also served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1974 to 1980. Gola was a member of the Republican Party and was a prominent advocate for education reform and tax reform.
Thomas Joseph Gola is one of the most celebrated and respected basketball players of all time. He was a champion on the court and a champion off the court, leaving a lasting legacy in the world of sports.
51. Hunter Dickinson
Hunter Dickinson is an impressive collegiate athlete who currently plays college basketball for the University of Kansas. At the young age of 20, Dickinson has already made a name for himself in the sport, as he was named a consensus second-team All-American in 2021.
This is an incredible feat, as it is often only accomplished by more experienced members of a college basketball team.
Dickinson has clearly shown that he has the potential to be a great player in the future, and it will be interesting to see how he develops as he progresses in his collegiate career.
His selection as a consensus second-team All-American is a testament to his talent and determination, and it is undoubtedly a great honor for both him and the University of Kansas.
The National Collegiate Athletics Association provides a platform for some of the best players in the country to compete and show their skills.
These student-athletes have worked hard to get to the level they are at today, and they are continuing to strive for greatness.
Whether they are playing on the national stage or in their own backyard, these athletes are making a name for themselves and inspiring the next generation of student-athletes.