Virginia has produced many legendary and iconic basketball players over the years and it is still producing more by the day. This is why the state is sometimes referred to as the state of basketball. Some of its all-time best basketball players have been randomly selected and discussed below.
Also known as “Top Gun”, Bryant Stith is ranked #18 in the Virginia all-time listing. Nobody took him seriously until he became the ACC’s rookie of the year and he kept winning laurels thereafter. He is mostly famous for being Virginia’s all-time leading scorer in 1992 with 2516 points. Not only that, Bryant is also known for being the owner of the 4th highest career point total in league history up till now. No basketball player has scored 10 and above points in each of 51 straight games except Bryant Stith. He achieved this feat with his final 51 games which fueled the belief that the trend would have continued if he had played more games. The site BetFirm ranks him as one of the top for helping cash free NCAA basketball picks that they have ever seen.
Due to his consistent dominating performance, Ralph Sampson is fondly called “The Dominator” by his fans and team mates. He was named national and ACC player of the year three impressive times. Isn’t that remarkable? He is ranked #15 in the Virginia all-time listing. He led his team to win a total of 112 games and either tied or lost only 23 games all through his career. He holds UVA records for the highest number of rebounds, blocked shots and dunks which are 1511, 462 and 253 respectively. He was also once named the Rookie of the year. He is indeed the dominator. I guarantee you he was a beast against the point spreads back in his day. That kind of dominance was unprecedented in the betting world.
Jeff Lamp is rated as #10 in the Virginia all-time listing. He is known as the Clutch Performer because he usually delivered when it mattered most. His singular efforts have either tied or won the game within the final 5 minutes of play in a total of 14 games. This is why his presence in a game used to be a major motivating factor for his team mates. Due to his outstanding performance, The Portland Trail Blazers made him a first round pick in 1981 NBA draft.
Being an astonishing shooter earned him the title – scoring machine. But I wonder why he did not make the first 20 in the Virginia all-time listing like the other three mentioned above. Up till today, his ACC and UVA records are still intact. He has a record average point of over 28 points per game. A feat no Virginia basketball player has achieved up till today.
Wally Walker is rated #19 in the Virginia all-time listing. He is the only Cavalier to be named ACC’s Most Valuable Player by Everett Case. He successfully led his team to win its only ACC Tournament title and the first NCAA title both in 1976. This is why he is fondly called “Wonderful “ Wally by fans and team mates.
Although he didn’t make the first 20 in the Virginia all-time listing, Curtis Staples is known for his dexterity in long-range shots. He set an NCAA record of highest number of three-pointers with 413 shots. This record wasn’t broken until 2006.
Rated #5 in the Virginia all-time listing, John Crotty is remembered for achieving a total of 683 career assists. He has one of the longest careers as he played for 11 straight seasons in the NBA. But he was not fortunate enough to be drafted.
This dude is rated #12 in the Virginia all-time listing. He has the record of being Virginia’s very first ACC player of the year. An award he won in 1971-1972 season. He currently holds UVA’s single-game scoring record with a total of 51 points. The practice courts at the John Paul Jones Arena have been named after him just to honor him for his immeasurable contributions to University of Virginia.
This article will be incomplete without mentioning one or two great female basketball players…
She is known as the only ACC player to achieve over 400 steals, 700 assists, 700 rebounds and 2000 points. She won a total of three Olympic Gold medals in her basketball career. A feat only very few basketball players have achieved. Her passion for the game pushed her into coaching after she retired as a player. She is currently the Head Coach for women’s basketball team in Temple University.