American Athletic Conference
The conference has taken shape over recent years but its schools have produced numerous NBA stars in their basketball history.
CiNCINNATI: OSCAR ROBERTSON
The legendary Oscar Robertson came out of Cincinnati and turned triple-doubles for an entire season into a thing before it was fashionable. The Big O combined with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to bring the Milwaukee Bucks their lone championship in the 1970-71 season.
EAST CAROLINA: BLUE EDWARDS
Blue Edwards was the 21st overall pick in the 1989 draft out of East Carolina by the Utah Jazz. He played nine seasons in the NBA with a career-high 16.9 ppg for the Bucks in 1992-93. Edwards was quite durable playing in all 82 games four times and 81 games in a season twice.
HoUSTON: HAKEEM OLAJUWON
‘The Deram” was a college star in Houston and continued to be one as a pro with the Rockets. He spent 17 seasons with Houston before finishing his career in Toronto. Olajuwon scored 26,946 points and grabbed 13,748 rebounds. He was a two-time NBA champion and back-to-back Finals MVP in 1994 and 1995.
MEMPHIS: DERRICK ROSE
Derrick Rose is currently with the Minnesota Timberwolves and enjoying a renaissance. The league will never know how great the former Memphis star could have been had he not suffered injury after injury. He’s averaging better than 18 ppg.
SMU: JON KONCAK
Jon Koncak was a reluctant seven-footer. The Mustang came out of SMU and was selected fifth overall by the Atlanta Hawks in 1985. He proved to be a solid defender and spent 10 seasons with the Hawks before closing out his career in Orlando.
SOUTH FLORIDA: CHUCKY ATKINS
Chucky Atkins was a journeyman’s journeyman. He played for nine different teams in a 14-year career. He finished a tick below 10 ppg. Atkins came from Maynard Evans HS, which also produced Chocolate Thunder, Darryl Dawkins.
TEMPLE: EDDIE JONES
Eddie Jones had the scoring touch. Coming out of the Big Five as the 10th overall pick in 1994 by the Los Angeles Lakers, all he did was average double-digits for the first 12 seasons of his career.
TULANE: HOT ROD WILLIAMS
Hot Rod Williams overcame controversy in college to have a solid NBA career. He was a Cleveland Cavalier for the first nine seasons of his time in the NBA and averaged double-digits in each of them. He also was solid on the boards, grabbing nearly seven per game.
TULSA: PAUL PRESSEY
Paul Pressey played 11 seasons in the NBA. He spent his first eight with the Milwaukee Bucks, where he enjoyed his best success. The 6-foot-5 Pressey averaged 10.6 points, 5.1 assists and nearly four rebounds per game.
UCF: JOEY GRAHAM*
Joey Graham split his college time between UCF and Oklahoma State, hence the asterisk. In his first two seasons in the Sunshine State he averaged almost 11 ppg. He then moved on to become a Cowboy and was an integral piece to a team that made the Final Four in his junior season. Still counts as tops for UCF.
UCONN: RAY ALLEN
Ray Allen played 16 seasons and averaged nearly 19 ppg. He was a member of four different teams and won two championships and was a 10-time All-Star. Allen made 2,973 three-point shots and was a 40 percent shooter from behind the arc.
WICHITA STATE: XAVIER MCDANIEL
Xavier McDaniel was the fourth overall pick in 1985 after a splendid career as a Shocker. As a senior, he became the first player to lead the nation in scoring and rebounding. He was an NBA All-Star in 1988 when he averaged better than 20 ppg.
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