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Here is where it really gets tough. How do you narrow Kentucky down? I can think of 25 great ones off the top of my head. Oh well, here goes.
1. Dan Issel: scored 2138 points in his UK career. Issel has UK's second highest single game total of 53 points. He is a basketball Hall of Fame inductee after a stellar NBA career with the Denver Nuggets and ABA career with the Kentucky Colonels.
2. Pat Riley: You may have heard of him. An All-American on the 1966 NCAA runner-up team, I think he went on to play and coach some pro ball. Won some titles and now he's retired in South Beach? I'm not sure Riley has enough fingers for all of his Championship Rings.
3. Cliff Hagan: One of UK's first super stars, Hagan once scored 51 points in a game. He was drafted by the Celtics who later traded him to the Hawks with Ed Macauley for the draft rights to a guy you might remember, Bill Russell. In fact, the Hawks beat the Celtics for the NBA Championship in 1957 before the Celtics went on their 11 titles in 13 years run. Hagan was a five time NBA All Star as the Hawks won five Western Conference Titles in the late 50s and early 60s.
4. Frank Ramsey: One of Hagan's running mates, he was also drafted that same time by the Celtics. He stayed with them for nine years and walked away with seven NBA rings. Ramsey and Hagan also won the 1951 NCAA Tournament and were unbeaten in 1953.
5. Louie Dampier; a teammate of Riley's on the '66 team known as Rupp's Runts, Dampier was a two-time All-American and three-time All SEC player in his three seasons. He then played all nine of the ABA's seasons with the Colonels and after the merger with the NBA in 1976, played three season with the Spurs. If the ABA can be credited with giving us the three pointer, then Dampier should get most of the credit. He hit over 500 of them for the Colonels in a three year stretch including 199 in 1968-69.
6. Kevin Grevey: a two time All American and three time All SEC player, Grevey led the Cats to the 1975 NCAA Championship Game where they lost to UCLA in John Wooden's final game. He scored 34 points and was named to the All Final Four team. Grevey teamed with Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes to win the 1978 NBA Championship with the Washington Bullets. The Bullets made it back to the Finals in 1979 where they lost to the team they beat in 1978, the Seattle Sonics.
7. Jack Givens: He scored 2038 points in his Kentucky career including 41 in the 1978 NCAA Championship Game victory over Duke. He was named the MOP for the Final Four, his second Final Four appearance in his four years at UK.
8. Rick Robey: Givens' running mate on the 1975-78 teams, Robey chipped in 20 points and 11 rebounds in the Duke game and later became the third pick in the NBA Draft. He went on the play eight seasons in the NBA mostly with the Celtics where he was one the 1981 World Championship team.
9. Kenny Walker: "Sky" Walker a two time All American and a four time All Sec player, Walker led the Cats to the 1984 NCAA Final Four. He later went on to the NBA where he won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 1989.
10. Jamal Mashburn: In only three years became the fourth-leading scorer in UK history. He was named First Team Alll American after his junior year and declared for the draft afterward. He averaged over 19 points per game in his 12 year NBA career.
11. Tayshaun Prince: Two Time All SEC including SEC Player of the Year in 2001, Prince has gone on to a very successful NBA career with the Pistons. He was a key play in the Pistons 2004 NBA Championship run.
12. Keith Bogans: A four-year starter at UK, he was a member of the 2003 Cats squad that went 16-0 in the SEC and then won the SEC Tournament. They went al the way to the Elite Eight before being knocked out by Dwayne Wade and Marquette.
13. Chuck Hayes: Bogans running mate on the '03 he finished his UK career seventh all time in rebounds, eighth in steals and ninth in blocked shots. He is also tied for first all time with 110 consecutive starts.
14. Jodie Meeks: A prolific shooter, Meeks holds the single game scoring mark with 54 against Tennessee in the Thompson Bowling Arena on a nationally televised game on ESPN in 2007.
15. John Wall: He only played at UK for one year, but what a year it was. He was the best player in college basketball as a true freshman running the point for a UK team that went 35-3 while winning the SEC regular season and Tournament Titles while advancing to the Elite Eight. He was then the number one pick in the NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards and is currently starting at point guard for them.