It can’t be overstated how great of a college basketball program Duke University has had during Mike Krzyzewski’s coaching reign. With four NCAA Championships and a multitude of conference championships and NCAA Tournament appearances, Duke has had some great college basketball teams and notable college basketball players. Many of these players have gone on to have productive NBA careers. It is obvious that the success of these players is due to their larger-than-life talent, but check out the variety of sports management positions in the business. Here are the best Duke players who have successfully infiltrated the NBA:
- Grant Hill â€“ Grant Hill was an important piece of the Duke championship teams in 1991 and 1992 and as NCAA championship runner-up in 1994. He shared the Rookie of the Year honor with Jason Kidd in the NBA and had six highly productive and successful seasons with the Detroit Pistons. He went on to play for the Orlando Magic, and was never the same after multiple injuries limited his effectiveness. However, he has had a bit of a career resurgence in recent years as a role player with the Phoenix Suns.
- Elton Brand â€“ Elton Brand helped lead Duke to the national title game in 1999. He went on to have a successful NBA career. Initially drafted by the Chicago Bulls, Brand shared the Rookie of the Year award with Steve Francis. He was later traded to the Los Angeles Clippers where he was a two-time All-Star and helped lead the long-suffering franchise to its first playoff berth in nine years.
- Carlos Boozer â€“ Carlos Boozer helped lead Duke to a national title in 2001. Picked in the second round of the 2002 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boozer is regarded as one of the greatest “steals” in NBA Draft history. Boozer has averaged 15 points and eight rebounds during the course of his career with the Cavaliers, Utah Jazz, and Chicago Bulls.
There many other Duke players that have had varying degrees of success in the NBA. This includes Corey Maggette, Luol Deng, Christian Laettner, Shane Battier, Mike Gminski, Mike Dunleavy, and Johnny Dawkins. It’s obvious that the. With such a distinguished basketball program, it’s only a matter of time before more names are added to this list.
Bleacher Report (2012)