SLAM Presents: Top 20 Men’s HBCU Players of All Time


Whenever you take a look at a number of the best to ever play the sport, there are many them who starred at Traditionally Black Schools and Universities. HBCU basketball has offered a platform for some legendary standouts to show their abilities at colleges corresponding to Winston-Salem State, Grambling State, Virginia Union, Tennessee State, North Carolina A&T and others.

These colleges haven’t acquired plenty of nationwide consideration for his or her contributions to the sport. However, HBCUs have produced some terrific expertise, who’ve gone on to get pleasure from careers within the NBA, corresponding to Leonard “Truck” Robinson (Tennessee State, New Orleans Jazz), Donald “Slick” Watts (Xavier La., Seattle SuperSonics), Caldwell Jones (Albany State, Philadelphia 76ers), Purvis Quick (Jackson State, Golden State Warriors), Larry Smith (Alcorn State, Golden State Warriors), and Kyle O’Quinn (Norfolk State, Philadelphia 76ers), amongst many different.

Proper now, Robert Covington from Tennessee State, who performs for the Portland Path Blazers, is the one energetic NBA participant from an HBCU.

This quantity may change with some future potential prospects enjoying at Black establishments, like Joe Bryant (Norfolk State), Tyree Corbett (Coppin State), Kyle Foster (Howard), M.J. Randolph (Florida A&M), and Jalen Johnson (Alabama A&M), to call a number of. Right now’s HBCU stars are well-coached, with the likes of LeVelle Moton (North Carolina Central College), Robert Jones (Norfolk State), Johnny Jones (Texas Southern), and Byron Smith (Prairie View A&M) among the many many impactful mentors.

As well as, the NBA and the NBPA will host a Mid-Japanese Athletic Convention sport between Howard College and Morgan State on Saturday, Feb. 19 throughout NBA All-Star Weekend on the Wolstein Middle in Cleveland, Ohio.

Each Thursday all through Black Historical past Month, SLAM will highlight 5 HBCU legends who weren’t solely dominant gamers throughout their time, but additionally path blazers of the sport.


Earl Monroe placed on fairly a present at Winston-Salem State. In 1967, he carried the Rams to the NCAA Division II championship and averaged a sensational 41.5 factors per sport that season. He performed for Corridor of Fame coach Clarence “Large Home” Gaines. 

Monroe had an awesome bounce shot to go together with the spin dribble, an array of change of tempo strikes and he may additionally make some insane photographs within the open court docket. The Corridor of Famer went on to play for the Baltimore Bullets and the New York Knicks. He scored 17,454 factors and handed out 3,594 assists in his NBA profession. In 1973, Monroe, aka “The Pearl” and Walt Frazier fashioned a implausible backcourt that helped lead the Knicks to the NBA championship. He didn’t simply entertain the followers within the NBA, but additionally in Philadelphia’s Charles Baker League throughout the summer season months.


Oakley was a strong inside participant at Virginia Union. He’s the college’s all-time main rebounder (1,664) and third all-time main scorer (2,379). In 1985, Oakley averaged 24 factors and 17.3 rebounds a sport whereas guiding Virginia Union to a 31-1 report. He helped the Panthers seize the 1985 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Affiliation title and was named the NCAA Division II Participant of the 12 months.

Oakley was chosen as a first-round choose by the Cleveland Cavaliers in ‘85, however was instantly traded to the Chicago Bulls. All through his 19-year profession, he performed for the Bulls, New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets. As an awesome rebounder and inside scorer, he completed his NBA profession with 12,417 factors and 12,205 rebounds. 


Mahorn was a terrific participant within the CIAA. He was a three-time NAIA All-American and tallied 20.3 factors and 12.3 rebounds a sport over his faculty profession—he walked away with 2,418 complete factors. The three-time All-CIAA standout additionally had 1,465 profession rebounds. In 1980, he turned the primary HU participant to be drafted within the NBA, chosen within the second spherical by the Washington Bullets. He went on to play 18 years within the League and was a key participant on the 1989 Detroit Pistons’ NBA championship crew.  


Reed, who was a left-handed middle with an awesome taking pictures contact from the surface, led Grambling State to an NAIA championship in ‘61 and a number of Southwestern Athletic Convention championship titles throughout his profession. After averaging a video game-like stat line of  26.6 factors and 21.3 rebounds per sport throughout his senior yr, he was taken within the second spherical of the 1964 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks.

All through his 10 years within the Affiliation, Reed scored 12,183 factors and eight,414 rebounds. His arduous work and willpower helped the New York Knicks win the NBA titles in 1970 and 1973. 


Johnson performed junior faculty basketball earlier than going to Southern College, the place he solidified himself as an impressive level guard for the Jaguars. He had the power to penetrate and hit the open man. In 1988, he led the nation in assists, tallying 13.3 assists an evening. He additionally averaged 11.4 factors that season. 

Johnson, who led the NCAA in assists in his two seasons at Southern College, earned SWAC Participant of the 12 months honors and was named MVP of the league event as a junior and senior. Whereas he went undrafted in 1988, he did handle to interrupt into the League as an undrafted free agent and performed 17 seasons. In 1999, he helped the San Antonio Spurs win the NBA championship over the New York Knicks. 

Johnson then pursued a profession in teaching and served as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks and the Brooklyn Nets earlier than returning to the NCAA as head coach on the College of Alabama. He’s now a TV analyst for CBS Sports activities. 


Courtesy of Winston-Salem State, Virginia Union, Hampton College, Southern College and Getty Pictures.



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