Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers known as the Blazers, are an American professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon. The Trail Blazers compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Western Conference Northwest Division; the team played its home games in the Memorial Coliseum before moving to Moda Center in 1995. The franchise entered the league as an expansion team in 1970, has enjoyed a strong following: from 1977 through 1995, the team sold out 814 consecutive home games, the longest such streak in American major professional sports at the time, only since surpassed by the Boston Red Sox; the Trail Blazers have been the only NBA team based in the bi-national Pacific Northwest, after the Vancouver Grizzlies relocated to Memphis and became the Memphis Grizzlies in 2001, the Seattle SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008. The team has advanced to the NBA Finals three times, winning the NBA championship once in 1977.
Their other NBA Finals appearances were in 1990 and 1992. The team has qualified for the playoffs in 34 seasons of their 48-season existence, including a streak of 21 straight appearances from 1983 through 2003, tied for the second longest streak in NBA history; the Trail Blazers' 34 playoff appearances rank third in the NBA only behind the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs since the team's inception in 1970. Six Hall of Fame players have played for the Trail Blazers. Bill Walton is the franchise's most decorated player. Four Blazer rookies have won the NBA Rookie of the Year award. Three players have earned the Most Improved Player award: Kevin Duckworth, Zach Randolph, CJ McCollum. Two Hall of Fame coaches, Lenny Wilkens and Jack Ramsay, have patrolled the sidelines for the Blazers, two others, Mike Schuler and Mike Dunleavy, have won the NBA Coach of the Year Award with the team. Sports promoter Harry Glickman sought a National Basketball Association franchise for Portland as far back as 1955 when he proposed two new expansion teams, the other to be located in Los Angeles.
When the Memorial Coliseum was opened in 1960 Glickman saw the potential it could serve as a professional basketball venue but it was not until February 6, 1970, that the NBA board of governors granted him the rights to a franchise in Portland. To raise the money for the $3.7 million admission tax, Glickman associated himself to real estate magnates Robert Schmertz of New Jersey, Larry Weinberg of Los Angeles and Herman Sarkowsky of Seattle. Two weeks on February 24, team management held a contest to select the team's name and received more than 10,000 entries; the most popular choice was "Pioneers", but that name was excluded from consideration as it was used by sports teams at Portland's Lewis & Clark College. The name "Trail Blazers" received 172 entries, was selected by the judging panel, being revealed on March 13 in the halftime of a SuperSonics game at the Memorial Coliseum. Derived from the trail blazing activity by explorers making paths through forests, Glickman considered it a name that could "reflect both the ruggedness of the Pacific Northwest and the start of a major league era in our state."
Despite initial mixed response, the Trail Blazers name shortened to just "Blazers", became popular in Oregon. Along with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Buffalo Braves, the Trail Blazers entered the NBA in 1970 as an expansion team, under coach Rolland Todd. Geoff Petrie and Sidney Wicks led the team in its early years, the team failed to qualify for the playoffs in its first six seasons of existence. During that span, the team had three head coaches; the team won the first pick in the NBA draft twice during that span. In 1972, the team drafted LaRue Martin with the number one pick. In 1974 the team selected Bill Walton from UCLA; the ABA–NBA merger of 1976 saw those two rival leagues join forces. Four ABA teams joined the NBA; the Trail Blazers selected Maurice Lucas in the dispersal draft. That summer, they hired Jack Ramsay as head coach; the two moves, coupled with the team's stellar play, led Portland to several firsts: winning record, playoff appearance, championship in 1977. Starting on April 5 of that year, the team began a sellout streak of 814 straight games—the longest in American major professional sports history—which did not end until 1995, after the team moved into a larger facility.
The team started the 1977–78 season with a 50–10 mark, some predicted a dynasty in Portland. However, Bill Walton suffered a foot injury that ended his season and would plague him over the remainder of his career, the team struggled to an 8–14 finish, going 58–24 overall. In the playoffs, Portland lost to the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1978 conference semifinals; that summer, Walton demanded to be traded to a team of his choice because he was unhappy with his medical treatment in Portland. Walton was never traded, he held out the entire 1978–79 season and left the team as a free agent thereafter; the team was further dismantled as Lucas left in 1980. During the 1980s, the team was a consistent presence in the NBA post-season, failing to qualify for the playoffs only in 1982. However, they never advanced past the conference semifinals duri
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets men's basketball
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Men's Basketball team represents the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in NCAA Division I basketball. The team plays its home games in McCamish Pavilion on the school's Atlanta campus and is coached by Josh Pastner. Under the tenure of Bobby Cremins, Georgia Tech established itself as a national force in basketball. Cremins led his team to the first ACC tournament victory in school history in 1985 and in 1990 he took Georgia Tech to the school's first Final Four appearance ever. Cremins retired from Georgia Tech in 2000 with the school's best winning percentage as a head coach; the Yellow Jackets returned to the Final Four in 2004 under Paul Hewitt and lost in the national title game, losing to UConn. Overall, the team has won 1,352 games and lost 1,226 games, a.524 win percentage. Georgia Tech's first recorded official participation in basketball was in 1906, when a small club organized under Coach Chapman, they won two of the three games. The next time Tech had a basketball team, it was under the famous coach John Heisman Tech's baseball and football coach.
Heisman had a winning percentage of.142 that season and improved the team's percentage to.500 in 1912 and 1913. Since that time, Georgia Tech has forged a solid basketball program on the strength of coaches like John Hyder and Bobby Cremins, such players as Roger Kaiser, Rich Yunkus, Mark Price, Craig "Noodles" Neal, John Salley, Tom Hammonds, Matt Harpring. Georgia Tech became a charter member of the Southeastern Conference in 1932 and won the conference title in 1938. Coach Hyder, whose teams won 292 games in twenty-two seasons, put the program on the national map when his 1955 team defeated Adolph Rupp's Kentucky team, ending the Wildcats' 129-game winning streak at home; the Yellow Jackets played their first NCAA tournament game in 1960. Coached by Hyder and led by all-American Kaiser, the team defeated Ohio University before losing in the second round to the eventual champion, Ohio State. Hyder continued to have strong teams in the 1970s. In 1964, Georgia Tech's final season in the Southeastern Conference, the team went undefeated at home and was the conference runner-up.
In 1971 the Yellow Jackets, led by Yunkus, reached the finals of the National Invitation Tournament but lost to the University of North Carolina. Georgia Tech became a charter member of the Metro Conference in 1975, became the eighth member of the ACC in 1978; as of the 2007–08 season, the Yellow Jackets have won three ACC Tournament championships and been the ACC's top seed twice. Through 2017, Georgia Tech has received sixteen berths in the NCAA tournament, seven of its teams have made it to the Sweet Sixteen; the 1985 team, led by head coach Bobby Cremins and players Mark Price, Duane Ferrell, Yvon Joseph, Craig Neal, Bruce Dalrymple, John Salley, won the school's first ACC championship and advanced to the final eight in the NCAA tournament. In the 1990 tournament, the trio of Kenny Anderson, Dennis Scott, & Brian Oliver carried the Yellow Jackets all the way to the Final Four, where they lost to eventual champion UNLV in the national semi-finals. In 1992, Cremins led an inexperienced Tech team to the Sweet 16, thanks in no small part to James Forrest's buzzer-beating game-winning 3-pointer in the second round against USC.
The following year, the Yellow Jackets won the ACC Tournament. Georgia Tech's nine consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament from the mid-1980s and the early 1990s accounted for the nation's fourth-longest active streak before it ended in 1994. In 1996, the team finished first in the ACC's regular season and returned to the tournament behind future NBA All-Star Stephon Marbury. Cremins's nineteen-year tenure stands as the team's most successful era. Cremins is third among all ACC coaches. Upon his retirement after the 1999–2000 season, his teams had won 354 games and lost 237 for a.599 winning percentage. The floor at Alexander Memorial Coliseum is named "Cremins Court" in his honor. In 2000, head coach Paul Hewitt was hired away from Siena College and helped to revitalize the Yellow Jacket program. In his first season, Georgia Tech beat UCLA, Kentucky and five ACC rivals that were ranked en route to an NCAA tournament appearance. Georgia Tech experienced a Cinderella season in 2003–2004: winning the Preseason NIT, ending Duke's 41-game winning streak at Cameron Indoor Stadium, making it to the school's second Final Four and first national championship game, in which they lost by nine points to UConn.
Notable players sent to the NBA under Hewitt include Chris Bosh, Jarrett Jack, Mario West, Luke Schenscher, Thaddeus Young, Will Bynum and Anthony Morrow. In back-to-back years, Hewitt successfully recruited national top-10 high school prospects in Iman Shumpert and Derrick Favors. During the 2009–2010 season, the Yellow Jackets played for the ACC tournament championship game as well as earning Hewitt's fifth NCAA tournament appearance at Tech, they advanced to the round of 32. Georgia Tech finished the 2010–11 season 13–18. On March 12, 2011, Paul Hewitt was dismissed as the head coach of the Georgia Tech after eleven seasons. Brian Gregory was appointed as his successor, Georgia Tech's thirteenth men's basketball coach, on March 28, 2011. Brian Gregory, who led Dayton to 97 victories over his last four seasons there and worked under Tom Izzo at Michigan State when the Spartans won the 2000 NCAA Championship, was named Georgia Tech's head men's basketball coach on March 28, 2011. In their first sea
North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball
The North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball program is the intercollegiate men's basketball team of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels have won six NCAA men's college national championships. North Carolina's six NCAA Tournament Championships are third-most all-time, behind University of California, Los Angeles and University of Kentucky, they have won 18 Atlantic Coast Conference tournament titles, 32 Atlantic Coast Conference regular season titles, an Atlantic Coast Conference record 20 outright Regular Season Championships. The program has produced many notable players who went on to play in the NBA, including three of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History: Billy Cunningham, Michael Jordan and James Worthy. Many Tar Heel assistant coaches have gone on to become head coaches elsewhere. From the Tar Heels' first season in 1910–11 through the 2017–18 season, the program has amassed a.738 all-time winning percentage, winning 2,232 games and losing 792 games in 108 seasons.
The Tar Heels have the most consecutive 20-win seasons with 31 seasons from the 1970–71 season through the 2000–2001 season. On March 2, 2010, North Carolina became the second college basketball program to reach 2,000 wins in its history; the Tar Heels are ranked 3rd all time in wins trailing Kentucky by 31 games and Kansas by 16 games. The Tar Heels are one of only four Division I Men's Basketball programs to have achieved 2,000 victories. Kentucky and Duke are the other three. North Carolina has averaged more wins per season played than any other program in college basketball. Carolina has played 160 games in the NCAA tournament; the Tar Heels have appeared in the NCAA Tournament Championship Game 11 times, have been in a record 20 NCAA Tournament Final Fours. The Tar Heels have made it into the NCAA tournament 50 times, have amassed 123 victories. North Carolina won the National Invitation Tournament in 1971, appeared in two NIT Finals with six appearances in the NIT Tournament. Additionally, the team has been the number one seed in the NCAA Tournament 17 times, the latest being in 2019.
North Carolina has been ranked in the Top 25 in the AP Poll an all-time record 908 weeks, has beaten #1 ranked teams a record 14 times, has the most consecutive 20-win seasons with 31, the most consecutive top-3 ACC regular season finishes with 37. North Carolina has ended the season ranked in the Top-25 of the AP Poll 50 times and in the Top-25 of the Coaches' Poll 52 times. Further, the Tar Heels have finished the season ranked #1 in the AP Poll 5 times and ranked #1 in Coaches' Poll 6 times. In 2008, the Tar Heels received the first unanimous preseason #1 ranking in the history of either the Coaches' Poll or the AP Poll. In 2012, ESPN ranked North Carolina #1 on its list of the 50 most successful programs of the past 50 years. North Carolina played its first basketball game on January 27, 1910, beating Virginia Christian 42-21. In 1921, the school joined the Southern Conference; the 1924 Tar Heels squad went 26–0, was retroactively awarded a'national championship' by the Helms Athletic Foundation in 1943 and by the Premo-Porretta Power Poll.
Overall, the Tar Heels played 32 seasons in the Southern Conference from 1921 to 1953. During that period they won 304 games and lost 111 for a winning percentage of 73.3%. The Tar Heels won the Southern Conference regular season 9 times and the Southern Conference Tournament Championship 8 times. In 1953, North Carolina split from the Southern Conference and became a founding member of the Atlantic Coast Conference; the Tar Heels won their first NCAA Championship in 1957 under fifth year head coach Frank McGuire, who led an undefeated 32-0 squad dominated by Lennie Rosenbluth and several other transplants from the New York City area to a 54-53 triple overtime victory over Wilt Chamberlain's Kansas Jayhawks. C. D. Chesley, a Washington, D. C. television producer, piped the 1957 championship game in Kansas City to a hastily created network of five stations across North Carolina—the ancestor to the current syndicated ACC football and basketball package from Raycom Sports—which helped prove pivotal in basketball becoming a craze in the state.
The title game was the only triple overtime final game in championship history, which followed a triple overtime North Carolina defeat of Michigan State 74-70 the previous night. In 1960, the Tar Heels were placed on NCAA probation for "improper recruiting entertainment" of basketball prospects; as a result, they were barred from the 1961 NCAA tournament and withdrew from the 1961 ACC Tournament. Following the season, Chancellor William Aycock forced McGuire to resign; as a replacement, Aycock selected one of Kansas alumnus Dean Smith. Smith's early teams were not nearly as successful, his first team went only 8–9–as it turned out, the last losing season UNC would suffer for 41 years. His first five teams never won more than 16 games; this grated on a fan base used to winning. However, Smith would go on to take the Tar Heels to a reign of national dominance; when he retired in 1997, Smith's 879 wins were the most for any NCAA Division I men's basketball coach, his 77.61% winning percentage ninth best.
During his tenure, North Carolina won or shared 17 ACC regular season titles and won 13 ACC Tournaments. They went to the NCAA tournament 27 times–including 23 in a row from 1975 to 1997–appeared in 11 Final Fours, won NCAA national tournament titles in 1982 and 1993, they won the NIT in 1971. The 1982 National Championship team was led by James Worthy, Sam Perkins, a young Michael J
Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball
The Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball program represents Georgetown University in NCAA Division I men’s intercollegiate basketball and the Big East Conference. Georgetown has competed in men’s college basketball since 1907; the current head coach of the program is Patrick Ewing. Georgetown has made the Final Four on five occasions, they have won the Big East Conference Tournament a record seven times, have won or shared the Big East regular season title ten times. They have appeared in the NCAA Tournament thirty times and in the National Invitation Tournament thirteen times; the Hoyas have been well regarded not only for their team success, but for generating players that have succeeded both on and off the court, producing NBA legends such as Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutombo, Alonzo Mourning, Allen Iverson, as well as United States Congressman Henry Hyde and former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. Founded in the fall of 1906, the Georgetown men's basketball team played its first game on February 9, 1907, defeating the University of Virginia by a score of 22-11.
In its first 60-some years, the program displayed only sporadic success. Until McDonough Gymnasium opened on campus for the 1950–51 season, the team changed home courts playing on campus at Ryan Gymnasium and off campus at McKinley Technology High School, Uline Arena, the National Guard Armory, as well as playing individual home games at the University of Maryland's Ritchie Coliseum and The Catholic University of America's Brookland Gymnasium, among others; the downtown locations of these venues was influenced by the number of Law School students who played on the team in this era. From 1918 through 1923, while on campus at Ryan Gymnasium, Georgetown managed a 52–0 home record under coach John O'Reilly. A large on-campus arena shelved during the Great Depression; the team recruited its first All-American, Ed Hargaden, in 1931. From 1932 until 1939, the Hoyas played in the Eastern Intercollegiate Conference, were regular-season conference co-champions in 1939. In 1942, a Hoya went pro for the first time, when three seniors, Al Lujack, Buddy O'Grady, Dino Martin, were drafted professionally upon graduation.
The next year the team, led by future congressman Henry Hyde, reached new heights and posted its first 20-win season going 22-5 on the year. This success translated into a berth into the 1943 NCAA Tournament, the school's first postseason appearance. Taking advantage of the opportunity, the Hoyas made it all the way to the National Championship game, where they lost to Wyoming. Georgetown's coach of this squad, Elmer Ripley, was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1973. Coming off of the best season in school history, momentum was stalled as the program was suspended from 1943 to 1945 because of World War II. Following the hiatus the program struggled to find its footing, it was successful over the next three decades, only making two postseason appearances during this time period. In 1953, former Baltimore Bullets player Buddy Jeannette coached the team to its first National Invitation Tournament invitation, but it lost in the first round to Louisville. Top players from this period include Tom O'Keefe, the first Hoya to reach 1,000 career points in 1949–50, future National Football League Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who graduated second in Hoya career rebounds in 1962.
O'Keefe returned to coach the team from 1960 until 1966. In 1966 the school hired John "Jack" Magee, who had led Boston College as a player to its first NCAA Tournament bid. Magee had some relative success early on, as he led the team to the 1970 NIT, just its third post-season appearance ever. However, the team lost to LSU in the first round, a losing season the subsequent year, followed up with a three-win season in 1971–72, the worst in school history led to his dismissal; this was the last time. John Thompson, Jr. played two seasons with the Boston Celtics before he achieved local notability coaching St. Anthony's High School in Washington, D. C. to several successful seasons. Thompson was hired to coach Georgetown in 1972, with several recruits from St. Anthony's like Merlin Wilson and improved the team. Georgetown, while still independent, participated in the Eastern College Athletic Conference′s 1975 postseason ECAC South Tournament, after a 16–9 regular season found itself facing West Virginia in the conference tournament championship.
Derrick Jackson's buzzer beater won Georgetown its first tournament championship, a bid to the 1975 NCAA Tournament. Georgetown repeated as ECAC South Tournament champions the following year, beating George Washington University when Craig Esherick's buzzer beater sent the game to overtime, as ECAC South-Upstate Tournament champions in the 1978-79 season, beating Syracuse University in Jim Boeheim's first game against the Hoyas as Syracuse's coach. Prior to the 1979–80 season, Georgetown joined with six other schools, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall and Boston College to found a conference focused on basketball; the Big East Conference provided Georgetown increased competition, several of its longest rivalries. On February 13, 1980, in the final game at Manley Field House, Georgetown star Sleepy Floyd scored two last-second free-throws to snap No. 3 Syracuse's 57 game home winning streak, leading Coach Thompson to declare "Manley Field House is closed." They faced Syracuse again three weeks in the first Big East Tournament Finals, winning 87–81.
In the 1980 NCAA Tournament, the team advanced to the Elite Eight, where they fell on a last second foul call to the I
Jermaine Lee O'Neal is an American retired professional basketball player. The 6 ft 11 in, 255 lb forward–center had a successful high school career and declared his eligibility for the 1996 NBA draft straight out of high school. O'Neal was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 17th overall pick, but was unable to break into the first team in Portland and was traded to the Indiana Pacers in 2000. In his eight seasons with the club, he was voted an NBA All-Star six times, made the All-NBA teams three times, was voted the NBA Most Improved Player in the 2001–02 season. O'Neal helped Indiana reach the NBA Playoffs six times, including the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2003–04 season. O'Neal was traded to the Toronto Raptors before the 2008–09 season began, played for the Miami Heat, the Boston Celtics, the Phoenix Suns. O'Neal's final NBA season was the 2013 -- 14 season. O'Neal was born in South Carolina, he and his older brother, were raised by their mother, Angela Ocean. Ocean worked hard to support her sons, left her children to their own devices.
O'Neal found his love for athletics at a young age. Tall and quick, he enjoyed both American football and basketball, but basketball was his favorite sport. Two of his basketball heroes are Bill Russell; each summer, he would play for an AAU team, impressed onlookers with his athleticism and his ability to handle the ball with both hands. By the time he turned 14, the 6'4" O'Neal—now a confident guard who could drain three-pointers—entered Eau Claire High School of the Arts as a freshman in 1992. In his first meeting with basketball coach George Glymph, he made the bold promise to become the best player in the school's history. While O'Neal's first season was hardly noteworthy things changed when he grew five inches over the next year and a half, he was inspired to develop into a defensive powerhouse like his idol,Bill Russell. Glymph built his team's defense around O'Neal, Eau Claire featured one of the most imposing frontcourts around. With O'Neal averaging 18 points, 12 rebounds and 9 blocks a game, Eau Claire captured its third straight 3A state title in 1995.
The following July, the 16-year-old was to raise his profile yet again. At an ABCD summer basketball camp, he outplayed a rising star at that time. Before long, recruiting letters from various top colleges came pouring in. O'Neal, however faced great pressure off the court; that same year, the District Attorney contemplated prosecuting him for rape after he and his 15-year-old girlfriend were found nude in bed together by her father. The DA did not prosecute O'Neal, but as the latter struggled to cope with the pressure on and off the court, Glymph stepped in, introducing discipline to his life and keeping his feet to the ground. At the same time, O'Neal's mother had met a new man, Abraham Kennedy, who guided O'Neal along. In his senior season at Eau Claire, O'Neal's averages of 22.4 points, 12.4 rebounds and 5.2 blocks per game ensured that he was voted First Team All-State, South Carolina's Player of the Year and "Mr. Basketball". Named to USA Today's All-USA Basketball Team, he earned a spot in the McDonald's All-American Game as well.
Despite being one of the nation's top prospects, O'Neal's future in college basketball was uncertain. He scored poorly on the SATs, Glymph advised against him making the leap to the NBA, but it was only a year before that another South Carolinian—future NBA All-Star Kevin Garnett—had made a seamless transition from high school to the NBA, O'Neal thought he could emulate Garnett. O'Neal was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers as the 17th pick in the 1996 NBA draft; the rookie was surrounded by emerging stars who could show him the ropes in Portland. After missing the first 17 games with a bone contusion in his knee, O'Neal made his debut against the Denver Nuggets in December. At 18 years, one month and 22 days, he became the youngest player to play in an NBA game. O'Neal became the youngest player at 18 years, three months and eleven days to score 20 points in a game on January 22, 1997 against the Seattle SuperSonics. Portland was mediocre in the first half of the campaign, but came to form as the playoffs approached and managed to finish third in the Pacific Division with a 49–33 win–loss record.
While fans at the Rose Garden harbored thoughts of an upset against the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs, the Trail Blazers succumbed in four games. In O'Neal's first season, he appeared in a total of 45 games in the regular season, averaging 4.1 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. For the most part, however, he only averaged 10.2 minutes a game. O'Neal doubted for a while if he had made the right decision to skip college—he watched with envy as good friend and fellow prep-to-pro draftee Kobe Bryant was enjoying a good rookie season—but he remained confident that the best had yet to come. Despite his optimism, O'Neal found it difficult to break into the first team the following season. Brian Grant was acquired from free agency and new coach Mike Dunleavy, Sr. planned to use Sabonis and Grant as the starting frontcourt, while the presence of veteran Gary Trent further reduced the sophomore's chances. Thus, O'Neal was not given meaningful minutes in the early part of the campaign, although he showed glimpses of hi
Raymond Bernard Felton, Jr. is an American professional basketball player for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association. Felton played college basketball for the University of North Carolina under head coach Roy Williams. At North Carolina, Felton led the Tar Heels to a national championship before declaring for the NBA draft. Felton was drafted fifth overall in the 2005 NBA draft. Over his career, Felton has been a member of the Charlotte Bobcats, New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers, he plays the point guard position. Felton began his basketball career at Latta High School in South Carolina. There he led his high school to two state championships and a career record of 104–9. In the process, he set state scoring records with 117 three-pointers. Felton won the South Carolina Mr. Basketball award as both a junior and senior, was named Naismith Prep Player of the Year in 2002, he was MVP of the 2002 Roundball Classic at the United Center in Chicago, was selected for the 2002 McDonald's All-American Game.
Felton played in the McDonald's All-American game on the same team with two future New York Knicks teammates, Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire. Considered a five-star recruit by Scout.com, Felton was listed as the No. 1 point guard and the No. 3 player in the nation in 2002. In his freshman year, he was voted Carolina Player of the Year and ACC Freshman of the Week three times, he had 236 assists, averaged 12.0 points a game. During his sophomore year, he was a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award and the Naismith College Player of the Year Award, had 213 assists, led the Tar Heels in steals and free throw percentage while averaging 11.5 points per game. Notable in his second year, Felton set a school-record single-game 18 assists against George Mason on December 7, 2003. In his third and final season at North Carolina, Felton led the Tar Heels along with fellow juniors Rashad McCants and Sean May and freshman Marvin Williams to the 2005 National Championship over the University of Illinois Fighting Illini on April 4, 2005, in St. Louis.
This was the fifth men's basketball championship in UNC's history. Felton hit a key three-pointer over Deron Williams to break a 65–65 tie late in the game, came up with a crucial steal in the final seconds when Illinois had a chance to either tie the game or take the lead, his two free throws after the steal provided the final scoring in the game. Felton averaged 12.9 points and 6.9 assists per game during his junior season and showed a much-improved shooting touch. In recognition of his efforts, he was voted to the All-ACC First Team that season. Felton won the Bob Cousy Award that honors the best collegiate point guard. Following his junior campaign, EA Sports put Felton on the cover of NCAA March Madness 06. Felton was selected 5th overall in the 2005 NBA draft by the Charlotte Bobcats. Felton was drafted after point guards Chris Deron Williams. University of North Carolina teammates Marvin Williams, Rashad McCants and Sean May were selected in the draft. Felton showed promise right out of college, having his breakout game scoring 31 points against the Phoenix Suns in a Bobcats loss.
Felton's best all-around game of his rookie year occurred January 28, 2006, when he recorded 18 points and 13 assists against the Washington Wizards. Felton started 54 of 82 games for the Bobcats and averaged 11.9 points per game, 5.6 assists per game, 3.3 rebounds per game. In his rookie year, Felton recorded 13 double-doubles. Felton was selected to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team. Felton came into his second year as the Bobcats' starting point guard. Felton improved in every statistic category, raising his assist per game tally from 5.6 to 7.0. Instrumental in the increase was the improved play of teammates Gerald Wallace, Sean May, Emeka Okafor and the addition of then-rookies Adam Morrison and Walter Herrmann. Despite Felton's solid season, the Bobcats missed the playoffs. Coming into his third year, the Bobcats looked for more talent for Felton to distribute to, bringing in popular scoring shooting guard Jason Richardson; the 2007–08 season was still, however, a season of rebuilding for the Bobcats.
May and Herrmann took steps back and the Bobcats were plagued with injuries. The Bobcats once again missed the playoffs. Felton improved on his sophomore campaign, putting up 14.4 points per game, 7.4 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game. Felton became more efficient, raising his shooting percentage from 38% to 41%. Felton still, struggled shooting from three-point range, one of his biggest deficiencies coming out of college; the Bobcats put more pressure on Felton by drafting DJ Augustin in the 2008 draft. The Bobcats hired coach Larry Brown to be their head coach; however Felton regressed in scoring, assists and FG%. The Bobcats began to rebuild once again; the Bobcats missed the playoffs and hadn't made the playoffs since being created in 2004. During the 2009 off-season, Felton was a restricted free agent. However, he did not sign a contract offer with another team and returned to Charlotte for one more season after signing the qualifying offer on September 23, 2009. During the 2009 season, the Bobcats had their most successful year.
However, Felton did not. Felton however raised his FG% to a career-high 46% and improved his stroke from the three-point line, shooting 38.5%. In March, Michael Jordan became the majority owner of the Bobcats; the Bobcats added Stephen Jackson and Tyson C
Zion Lateef Williamson is an American college basketball player for the Duke Blue Devils of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Listed at 6 ft 7 in and 285 pounds, he plays the small power forward positions. According to many sports analysts, he is projected to be the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft. Born in Salisbury, North Carolina, Williamson attended Spartanburg Day School, where he was a consensus five-star recruit and was ranked among the top five players in the 2018 class, he led his team to three straight state championships and earned South Carolina Mr. Basketball recognition in his senior season. Williamson left high school as a McDonald's All-American, runner-up for Mr. Basketball USA, USA Today All-USA first team honoree. In high school, he drew national attention for his slam dunks. In his freshman season with Duke, Williamson was named ACC Player of the Year and ACC Rookie of the Year, he set the single-game school scoring record for freshmen in January 2019, claimed ACC Rookie of the Week accolades five times, earned AP Player of the Year, Sporting News College Player of the Year recognition and won the Wayman Tisdale Award.
Before starting basketball, Williamson played the quarterback position in football. When he was five years old, he set sights on becoming a college basketball star. At age nine, Williamson began waking up every morning at 5 a.m. to train. He competed in youth leagues with his mother Sharonda Sampson coaching and played for the Sumter Falcons on the Amateur Athletic Union circuit, facing opponents four years older than him. Williamson began working with his stepfather, former college basketball player Lee Anderson, to improve his skills as a point guard, he joined the basketball team at Johnakin Middle School in Marion, South Carolina, where he was again coached by his mother and averaged 20 points per game. In middle school, Williamson lost only three games in two years. In 2013, he guided Johnakin to an 8 -- a conference title. Williamson attended Spartanburg Day School, a small K–12 private school in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where he played basketball for the Griffins. Between eighth and ninth grade, he grew from 5 ft 9 in to 6 ft 3 in.
In the summer leading up to his first season, Williamson practiced in the school gym and developed the ability to dunk. At the time, he competed for the South Carolina Hornets AAU team as well, where he was teammates with Ja Morant; as a freshman, Williamson averaged 24.4 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 3.3 steals and 3.0 blocks, earning All-State and All-Region honors. He led Spartanburg Day to a South Carolina Independent School Association state championship game appearance. In March 2015, Williamson took part in the SCISA North-South All-Star Game in Sumter, South Carolina. By his second year in high school, he stood 6 ft 6 in. In his sophomore season, Williamson averaged 28.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.9 blocks, 2.7 steals per game and was named SCISA Region I-2A Player of the Year. He led the Griffins to their first SCISA Region I-2A title in program history. In June 2016, Williamson participated in the National Basketball Players Association Top 100 camp and was its leading scorer. In August, he won the Under Armour Elite 24 showcase dunk contest in New York City.
As a junior, Williamson averaged 36.8 points, 13 rebounds, 3 steals, 2.5 blocks per game. Entering the season, he was among 50 players selected to the Naismith Prep Player of the Year Award watch list. Starting in the 2016–17 season, Williamson was propelled into the national spotlight for his viral highlight videos, he made his season debut on November 15, 2016, recording 42 points and 16 rebounds in a win over Cardinal Newman High School. In the same month, his highlights drew the praise of NBA player Stephen Curry. On November 24, Williamson erupted for 50 points, including 10 dunks, along with 16 rebounds and 5 blocks versus Proviso East High School at the Tournament of Champions. In a 73–53 victory over Gray Collegiate Academy at the Chick-fil-A Classic on December 21, he posted a tournament-record 53 points and 16 rebounds, shooting 25-of-28 from the field. On December 30, Williamson recorded 31 points and 14 rebounds to win most valuable player at the Farm Bureau Insurance Classic. On January 15, 2017, he received nationwide publicity after rapper Drake wore his jersey in an Instagram post.
Williamson surpassed the 2,000-point barrier on January 20, when he tallied 48 points against Oakbrook Preparatory School. On February 14, he led Spartanburg Day past Oakbrook Prep for their first SCISA Region I-2A title, chipping in a game-high 37 points in a 105–49 rout. Williamson broke the state record for most 30-point games in a season, with 27 by the end of the regular season, he repeated as SCISA Region I-2A Player of the Year. High school sports website MaxPreps named him National Junior of the Year and to the High School All-American first team, while USA Today High School Sports gave him All-USA first team recognition. On April 22, 2017, Williamson recorded 26 points and 7 rebounds for his AAU team SC Supreme in a loss to touted recruit Romeo Langford and Twenty Two Vision at an Adidas Gauntlet tournament. In June, he appeared on the cover of basketball magazine Slam. Williamson, in a publicized AAU game on July 27, scored 28 points and led SC Supreme to a 104–92 win over 2019 class recruit LaMelo Ball and Big Ballers at the Adidas Uprising Summer Championships.
In August, he was named MVP of the 2017 Adidas Nations camp after averaging 22.5 points and 7.2 rebounds through 6 games. In his senior season, Williamson averaged 11.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. He debuted on November 15, 2017, erupting for 46 points and 15 rebounds in