We all know that basketball is one of the most popular and widely viewed sports out there today. Come on, who doesn’t love to just hang out with friends, family, good food, and a great game? It is so easy to get into the game and just become so consumed by it.
Everyone has their favorite team or favorite all time player. But sometimes we can forget about or ignore some of the greatest players out there because we only seem to recognize our own favorite, overlooking the greats. There are many who can play basketball, and there are some who can play really well, but then there are those who become the greatest.
Today I want to bring to your attention some of Virginia’s all time greatest basketball players. I am going to take it back, a little old school. Some of you young ones may not have even heard of these players, unless of course you know Virginia’s greatest.
I would first like to introduce you to Mr Richard Warren Wilkinson (aka Buzzy Wilkinson) who was a 6’2″ American basketball player who played guard-forward. He was a prolific scorer that averaged 32.1 points per game in his senior season. He scored a whopping 2,233 points during his college career. Although he was drated by the Celtics in the third round (30th pick overall) of the 1955 NBA Draft, he never played in the NBA. His number 14 was the first ever number retired in Virginia Cavaliers basketball history. Sadly, he just recently passed away.
Next I give you Ralph Lee Sampson, Jr., an American retired basketball player that stands at an astonishing 7’4″. He played center for the University of Virginia and is a three-time College Player of the Year. He was also first pick in the 1983 NBA draft. Sampson averaged 20.7 points and 10.9 rebounds for his first three seasons with the Houston Rockets.
Curtis Staples is a 6’3″ former American basketball player who played guard from 1994 to 1998 for the University of Virginia. He is best known for holding the all-time NCAA record for his three-point field goals. The University of Virginia retired Staples’ jersey (#5) on November 12, 2006 during halftime of Virginia’s first game in its new John Paul Jones Arena. He scored 1,757 points in his Virginia career.
Now here is one who may be a little more recent and maybe also a little more known, and not in a good way. Sean Michael-Eli Singletary is an American retired professional basketball player. As well as playing for Virginia from 2004-2008, he also played in the NBA. Standing at 6′ tall, he played point guard at the University of Virginia, where his jersey, number 44 was retired in February of 2009. On Mar. 9, of 08, Singletary scored his 2,000th career point against the University of Maryland and finished the game with 2,002 points. He finished his career as the fifth-highest all time scorer in Virginia school history with an amazing 2,079 points.
Those were just a few of the greats. If you are a Virginia fan, you have to know them. They were amazing.