Duke University has once again been in the headlines over the last 6 months thanks to the emergence of one of the most exciting basketball talents that the world has seen for a long time in Zion Williamson. Duke basketball as a rich history of providing the NBA with great talent and this is why we have caught up with Carter Boyle Duke University student to find out who are the greatest talents to have ever left Duke and headed for the NBA.
People have been talking about Zion since his high school years and he is someone who is beginning to realize his true potential. It is for this reason that he was picked up in the first round by the New Orleans Pelicans, after just 1 year as a freshman with the Duke Blue Devils.
The reason why Duke is able to pick up so many future stars is because of the focus which the university makes towards its sports programs, in particular basketball. Carter tells us that when there is a game on the whole college stops and watches, and the coaching here has always been some of the very best, especially during the era of Mike Kryzewski.
Grant Hill is widely considered to be the best NBA player who came out of Duke and when you look at his stats its easy to see why. Even though injuries played a huge part in Hill’s career, he was still able to make the All-Star team on 5 occasions, he averaged 21.6 points and 7.9 rebounds and spent almost 16 years in the NBA.
Brand was the hottest prospect of the 1999 draft when the Bulls managed to capture him as their first pick. Brand was a solid power forward who played 17 years in the NBA racking up an average of 15.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Brand made 2 All-Star teams and is most certainly one of the best products of Duke University.
Irving may very well eclipse the others in this list by the time that he is finished playing and the way he is going so far suggests that he probably will become one of the best that the university as produced. Irving was picked up by the Cavs after Lebron left them and he didn’t shy away from that huge responsibility which was placed up on his shoulders. Irving was part of the 2016 team that won the NBA championship and in his six seasons so far he has averaged 22 points per game and 5.5 assists. Irving only played 11 games in his freshman season for Duke before the NBA come calling… remind you of a certain Mr. Williamson?
Who do you think is the greatest player to come out of Duke? And how far do you think that Zion can take his talents?