Villanova Basketball: The Biggest NBA Success Stories in Villanova History

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistJune 18, 2014

Villanova Basketball: The Biggest NBA Success Stories in Villanova History

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    The phrase "quality over quantity" certainly applies to Villanova's association with professional basketball. 

    Only 39 Wildcats have played in either the NBA or ABA, but there have been plenty of success stories from that small sample size. 

    We got to pick the five biggest ones and share them in this space with you.

    Here is a look at the biggest success stories ever produced by Villanova basketball.

Randy Foye

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    Since leaving Villanova in 2006, Randy Foye has turned himself into a reliable guard for five different NBA franchises. 

    Foye started out in Minnesota, where he lasted three seasons, before beginning a journey that saw him play for the Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Clippers, Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets. 

    This past season with Denver, he started 78 of the team's 81 games and averaged 13.2 points per game, which was the second-highest total he has ever put up in the league. 

    His best statistical season was the 2008-09 campaign, where he averaged 16.3 points and 4.3 assists per game for the Timberwolves.

Kerry Kittles

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    Unlike Foye, Kerry Kittles spent most of his career with one team, the New Jersey Nets. 

    The guard was picked eighth overall in the 1996 NBA draft, and he went on to play with the team until 2004 before he played one year with the Clippers. 

    In his seven seasons with the Nets, Kittles averaged no less than 12.9 points per game while keeping his free-throw percentage over 74 percent. 

    He retired in 2005 as the sixth-highest NBA scorer in Villanova history.

Tim Thomas

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    One year after Kittles was picked eighth overall, Tim Thomas was selected with the seventh pick by the Nets, but he never played for the team during his long career. 

    Thomas was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers during the draft, and then he was sent to the Milwaukee Bucks in 1998. 

    After spending parts of six seasons with the Bucks, Thomas began a journeyman career with the New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Phoenix Suns, Clippers and Dallas Mavericks. 

    He was mostly used as a bench player during his career, but he was able to stick around in the league until 2010 because of his sixth-man qualities. 

    He never shot below 41 percent from the field in a season, and he averaged over three rebounds per game in all but two of his seasons.

Chris Ford

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    Chris Ford may have only scored over 1,000 points in two of his professional seasons, but he did record over 100 steals in all but one of those years. 

    Ford, who played for the Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics, has the most steals of any Villanova player ever to play in the NBA with 1,152, and he also finished with the sixth-most minutes of any professional Wildcat with 27.8 per game. 

    He also got the opportunity to play in the playoffs in seven of his 11 seasons, and he earned a ring with the Celtics in 1981.

Paul Arizin

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    The most successful Villanova player ever to grace the NBA with his talents was Paul Arizin. 

    Arizin stayed at home for all of his career, as he spent 10 seasons with the Philadelphia Warriors. 

    The only season where Arizin didn't score over 20 points per game was his rookie year, when he put up a casual 17.2 points per game in 65 games. 

    He ended his career with 16,266 points, 6,129 rebounds and a career field-goal percentage of 42.1 percent. 

    The 10-time All-Star made the playoffs on eight occasions with his only championship coming in 1956. 

     

    All statistics obtained from Basketball-Reference.com.