Today Duke plays Hampton is the NCAA tournament. Despite the fact that most basketball players are black, HBCUs have had a tough time competing with big schools who can offer scholarships. Still there are several basketball players from HBCUs who have had a major impact on basketball.
10. Pee Wee Kirkland Norfolk State University
Despite the fact that Kirkland never played an NBA game he is regarded as one of the best streetball players of all time and his legend still live on on streetball courts around the world.
9. Avery Johnson, Southern University
Avery Johnson was the point guard for the 1999 Championship, San Antonio Spurs and would later win coach of the year in 2006. Despite the fact that he never had any outstanding stats, his leadership ability and intelligence made him a factor on the court.
8. Darrell Armstrong, Fayetteville St.
Despite the fact that he wasn’t drafted, Armstrong would win both the NBA’s Six Man Of The Year and Most Improved Player in 1999 during a stellar career with the Orland Magic.
7. Earl Lloyd, West Va. St
Lloyd is the Jackie Robinson of basketball, the first African American NBA player to sign a contract in 1950. He would win one championship with Syracuse and later become the coach of the Detroit Pistons.
6. Rick Mahorn, Hampton
Rick Mahorn’s defense and rebounding were staples of the Detroit Piston “Bad Boy” days when they won two championships and would coach the WNBA’s Detorit Shock to a Championship as well.
5. Charles Oakley, Virginia Union
Though Oakley never won a championship he reached the finals once with the Knicks and dueled with friend and former teammate, Michael Jordan in the playoffs several times.
4. Ben Wallace, Virginia Union
Ben Wallace won a championship for the Pistons in 2004 with a style similar to Rick Mahorn’s with a focus on defense and rebounding.
3. Willis Reed, Grambling State
Reed won a championship with the New York Knicks in 1972, providing inspiration for the team with a historic return from a harsh injury in the Finals.
2. Earl “The Pearl” Monroe,
Otherwise known as “Black Jesus,” Monroe was a playground legend who transferred his skills to the NBA, winning a championship with fellow HBCU grad, Willis Reed.
1. Sam Jones, North Carolina Central University
Sam Jones won 10 championships with the Boston Celtics leading the team in scoring for 3 years.