Here are 5 NBA players that went to Duke University, known for its basketball prowess, Cameron Crazies and national championships. Flourishing under Coach Mike Krzyzewski in the tough ACC conference, these NBA players were prepared well at the highest collegiate level, racking in a few championships and awards along the way.
- Grant Hill One of the most recognizable NBA players that went to Duke, Grant Hill made his mark both collegiately and professionally. He led the Blue Devils to national championships in both 1991 and 1992 (and to the championship game in 1994), when Duke became the first team since UCLA in 1973 to win back-to-back titles in Division I ball. He was drafted third in the NBA Draft in 1994 by the Detroit Pistons, and played there until 2000, when he was traded to the Orlando Magic. He shared the NBA Rookie of the Year award with Jason Kidd and played in several NBA All-Star games as well as winning a gold medal in the 1996 Olympic Games. He signed with the Phoenix Suns in 2007 where it’s anticipated he’ll play out his career.
Carlos Boozer This tough power forward helped the Duke Blue Devils win the 2001 NCAA basketball championship along with Shane Battier, Chris Duhon and Mike Dunleavy. He finished out his college career as Duke’s all-time leader in field-goal percentage (.631) and played 101 games over the course of his three seasons, before he elected to go pro. Drafted in the second round by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2002, Boozer averaged 10 points and 7.5 boards his rookie year before he became a restricted free agent. The Utah Jazz picked him up where he flourished, earning two trips to the NBA All-Star Game. He was also part of the 2004 bronze medal and the 2008 gold medal Olympic teams.
Shane Battier Having won three high school state championships, the Mr. Basketball and Naismith Awards, Battier played for Coach Krzyzewski in Durham. Known for his stifling defense, he was named ACC Athlete of the Year in 2001 along with the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player award in 2001, the year of their national championship. (He also led his team the Final Four in 1999) His number 31 jersey was retired by the team. The Vancouver Grizzlies (since relocated to Memphis) selected him sixth in the 2001 NBA Draft. He was traded to the Houston Rockets in 2006, the same year he won the bronze at the World Championships. He earned the NBA All-Defensive Second Team honors in the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 seasons.
Elton Brand Even though he only played for Coach K for two seasons, Elton Brand was a force to be reckoned with. Named National Player of the Year in 1999 along with numerous other honors, Brand led the Blue Devils to the 1999 championship game, where they were upended by the UConn Huskies. The Chicago Bulls selected him first overall, where he played for two seasons before being traded to the L.A. Clippers. He averaged 20.1 points and 10 rebounds in his rookie season, when he shared the NBA Rookie of the Year award with Steve Francis. He led the Clippers to its first playoff win since 1976. He opted out of his contract after the 2007-2008 season and became a free agent, where the Philadelphia Sixers picked him up.
J.J. Redick Duke signed this talented guard after he was a McDonalds All-American at his high school in Virginia. He put up huge numbers his freshman season, including leading his team to the Sweet Sixteen, where they lost to Kansas. Redick set the record for most consecutive free throws made in the ACC by nailing 54 in a row. His collegiate career free throw percentage was 91.16%, an incredible percentage. He became the all-time leading scorer at Duke (at the time) with 2,769 points. His #4 jersey was retired in front of the Cameron Crazies in 2007. The Orlando Magic drafted Redick 11th overall in 2006, where he played behind Duke legend Grant Hill. His career high (as of 2009) is 27 points.
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