|#2 Richard Hamilton – (1996-1999)
by Meghan Bard
Richard “Rip” Hamilton’s UConn resume is maybe the most impressive. In three seasons, the hot-handed sharpshooter scored more than 2,000 points, won countless individual honors and a National Championship. He was the 1999 NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, a two-time Big East Player of the Year and a First Team All-American. Basically, if you can win it, he won it. And of course, he famously hit this buzzer-beater against Washington in the 1998 Sweet Sixteen.
Hamilton was a lottery pick in 1999 by the Washington Wizards. He won an NBA Championship in 2004 with the Detroit Pistons, is a three-time All Star, and currently plays for the Chicago Bulls.
Career Points: 2036
Career Rebounds: 464
Career Assists: 266
Career Steals: 134
Career Blocks: 28
1st Team All-American 1998-1999
|#15 Kirk King – (1993-1997)
by Peter Bard
One of the saddest days of my youth sports-watching career was the day it was announced that Kirk King had accepted a plane ticket from an agent and would be suspended for the duration of his senior year. He was the lone veteran on the 1996-97 Huskies, and his stalwart performance kept the team afloat through the first 14 games of the season. After that, the wheels came off. The Huskies lost 3 of their next 11 and went to the NIT, where they finished 3rd. It was an encouraging ending to a rough season, and one that showed promise that would be realized two years later when Richard Hamilton led that group to a championship, but it wasn’t enough to get King’s career back on track.
Senior year was supposed to be King’s time to shine. He was a blue-collar, dirty work kind of player for the 1995-96 Huskies, a team featuring higher-profile stars like Ray Allen, Doron Sheffer, and Travis Knight. With those three gone, the Huskies were left with King and a lot of kids. After playing such a key role in the comeback win over Georgetown in the Big East Championship the year before, King looked ready to be a leader. He was a strong rebounder and a ferocious finisher, converting many Husky missed shots into points when the team needed them. His senior year, shortened to only 14 games, saw him lead the team in blocks and rebounds averages while finishing third in scoring.
Career Points: 664
Career Rebounds: 494
Career Assists: 64
Career Steals: 35
Career Blocks: 113
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