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NBA Draft | NBA Mock Draft | 2006 Draft Profiles | Message Board

By Jason Brubaker

June 14th, 2006


Kentucky Basketball: Top 10 All-Time NBA Players


The NBA landscape is populated with representatives from the elite of college basketball, including the likes of North Carolina, Duke, UConn and Arizona. One name absent from that list is Kentucky. Despite their rich basketball tradition, and with Rajon Rondo’s NBA stock changing daily, the next NBA superstar from UK may well be the first. Here’s a look at the top 10 pro players to come out of UK.


10). Tony Delk- A member of the 1996 national champions, Delk has been known as bench scorer in the NBA, despite having bounced around to numerous teams. As a member of the Phoenix Suns, he torched the Kings for a career-high 53 points in a 2001 contest. He now is in the hunt for his first NBA championship as a member of the Detroit Pistons.


9). Kenny Walker – Still one of the more popular players in UK history, and still with close ties to the program as an analyst, Walker’s NBA career was shortened due to injuries. Although he never averaged more than 10 points per game, he was a fan favorite for his exploits to the basket. He also took home the 1989 Slam Dunk Championship.


8). Rex Chapman – Another UK fan favorite, Rex carved out his niche in the NBA with his scoring and toughness. He is perhaps best known for the prayer of a three-pointer against Seattle in the 1997 playoffs, heaving a fall-away three from well-beyond the line to win the game.  He also boats a career scoring average of nearly 15 points per game, including a career high 18.2 points per game in 1993-94 with Washington.


7). Tayshaun Prince – With arms and legs that seemingly go on forever, Prince has been a key cog for a Pistons squad that has one championship, and is looking for another. Not a flashy scorer, Prince is known for doing a little bit of everything on the floor, including stifling defense on the some of the game’s best stars. His come-from-behind block of a Reggie Miller lay-up in the 2004 playoffs propelled the Pistons to the NBA finals, where they eventually knocked off the  Lakers. At only 26, Prince may have many more championships in his future.


6). Louie Dampier – One of the famed Rupp’s Runts, Dampier was a seven-time All-Star in the now defunct ABA. He won an ABA championship in 1975, teaming with another UK legend, Dan Issel. Dampier would leave the ABA as number one in scoring, assists and minutes played. He would eventually join the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA, as a role player behind George Gervin.


5). Kevin Grevey – A starter on the 1978 NBA champion Washington Bullets, Grevey averaged better than 15 points per game between 1977-82, including the 1980 playoffs, where he averaged better than 20 points per game. Known as an excellent shooter, Grevey finished his career at better than 80 percent from the free-thrown line.


4). Cliff Hagan – After helping to lead UK to a championship in 1951, Hagan found great success in the NBA. A five-time All-Star from 1958-1962, Hagan also helped lead the St. Louis Hawks to the 1958 championship. Hagan also was the first player to become an All-Star in both the NBA and ABA. He finished his career with just under 15,000 points.


3). Dan Issel – Having left his name all over the UK record book, Issel won a championship in 1975 with the ABA’s Kentucky Colonels before moving onto the Denver Nuggets. Issel would go on to score more than 25,000 points in his career, good for over 20 points per game. He would later coach the Nuggets to a first round upset of the top-seeded Seattle Sonics in 1994.


2). Antoine Walker – Behind a barrage of three-pointers and the occasional shimmy, Walker has become known as one of the best offensive players in the league, if his shot is falling. A three-time All-Star, Walker has also logged numerous play-off minutes, with the Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat. Although his shooting percentages and shot selection have driven coaches crazy, he has proved to be dangerous when he gets going. He holds an NBA record with six three-pointers in the second quarter of a game against Philadelphia in the 2001 playoffs.


1). Jamal Mashburn – One of the most popular players in UK history, Mashburn was limited late in his career by injuries, but still finished his career averaging better than 19 points per game. A member of the All-Rookie team in 1993, Mashburn helped to lead the Dallas Mavericks to respectability with the help of Jason Kidd and Jim Jackson. He would become an All-Star in 2003 with the Miami Heat. With a pair of 50-point games under his belt, Mashburn officially retired in 2006, after knee surgery. He boast a career scoring average of better than 19 points per game.



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