Feb. 18, 2008
ATLANTA – Kenny Anderson, one of the members of Georgia Tech’s fabled “Lethal Weapon 3” team that reached the 1990 NCAA Final Four, joins a group five former All-Americas and players with a total of 95 years of experience in the NBA and ABA who are the 12 Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball Tournament Legends announced Monday by Commissioner John Swofford.
Two of the winningest basketball coaches in ACC and NCAA Division I history, the author of one of the most famous shots in the history of the NCAA Basketball Tournament and seven former first-round NBA draft picks, will be honored at the 55th Annual Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball Tournament this March 13-16 in Charlotte, NC.
The Legends will be honored at the Annual ACC Legends Brunch, which will be held at the Charlotte Westin Hotel on Saturday, March 15 beginning at 10 a.m. Tickets, priced at $35 each with tables of 10 available for $350, can be purchased from the Charlotte Sports Commission by calling 704-688-8531. Raycom TV personalities Mike Hogewood and Tim Brant will once again serve as co-hosts of the event.
The Legends will also be presented to the ACC Tournament crowd at the Bobcats Arena at halftime of the first semifinal game on March 15, which will have a 1:30 pm tipoff.
Anderson, from Brooklyn, N.Y., earned first-team All-ACC honors in 1990 and 1991, his only two seasons of collegiate eligibility. The lefty point guard is one of only six players in ACC history to be named first-team All-ACC as a freshman and was named the ACC’s Rookie of the Year in 1990. His 20.6 scoring average that year and his 8.14 assist average are the highest marks ever by an ACC freshman. A second-team All-America as a freshman, he led Georgia Tech–as part of Lethal Weapon Three with Dennis Scott and Brian Oliver–to the 1990 ACC Championship in Charlotte and to the NCAA Final Four in Denver. That year he recorded a rare triple double with 32 points, 12 rebounds and 18 assists against Pittsburgh and later had 17 assists in a win over North Carolina. A consensus All-America as a sophomore, he currently ranks fourth in the ACC in career steals (2.58), sixth in career assists (6.98) and 12th in career points per game (23.03). The second player chosen in the 1991 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets, he played 13 seasons in the NBA with six teams. He now lives outside of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and is the head coach of the Atlanta Krunk of the Continental Basketball Association.
This year’s Legends Class also includes a pair of coaches who are in the National College Basketball Hall of Fame and have combined for 1,665 victories between them. Former North Carolina Head Coach Dean Smith, who ranks 2nd on the NCAA career wins for coaches with 879 victories in a 36-year career, and former Maryland Head Coach Charles “Lefty” Driesell, who currently ranks 7th on the NCAA all-time Division I victories list for head coaches with 786 wins in a 41-year career that spanned four schools–Maryland (1970-85), Davidson (1961-69), James Madison (1989-97) and Georgia State (1998-2003).
Smith, who spent his entire head coaching career at UNC, coached the Tar Heels to 11 Final Fours and two national titles and was the NCAA’s all-time leader in victories at his retirement in 1997 and is still the ACC’s all-time leader in victories. Driesell, who was 348-159 (.686) during his time in College Park, led the Terrapins to the 1984 ACC Championship and was named ACC Coach of the Year twice, in 1975 and 1980.
Joining the “The Dean” and the “Old Lefthander” at this year’s Tournament will be NC State’s Lorenzo Charles (1982-85) whose follow dunk at the buzzer of the 1983 NCAA Championship Game sent the 1983 Cardiac Pack and their mercurial head coach, Jim Valvano, into basketball immortality; Duke’s Mike Gminski (1977-80), the 1979 ACC Player of the Year who led the Blue Devils to the 1978 NCAA Championship; Georgia Tech’s Kenny Anderson (1990-91), who led the Yellow Jackets to the 1990 NCAA Final Four as the triggerman at the point for Tech’s famed “Lethal Weapon Three”; and Wake Forest’s Len Chappell (1960-62), the sharp shooting forward who was ACC Player of the Year in 1961 and 1962, led the Deacons to the 1962 NCAA Final Four.
Completing this year’s class will be Boston College’s Bill Curley (1991-94), one of the eight former NBA first round draftees and one of the best big men in BC history; Clemson’s Elden Campbell (1987-90), one of the top all-around big men in ACC history who went on to a 15-year career in the NBA; Florida State’s Charlie Ward (1991-94), who in addition to winning a Heisman Trophy on the gridiron, led the Seminoles to three NCAA Tournament appearances; Miami’s Tim James (1996-99), who earned Co-Big East Player of the Year accolades in 1999 for the Hurricanes; Virginia’s John Crotty (1988-91), who led the Cavaliers to three straight NCAA Tournament berths; and Virginia Tech’s Glen Combs (1966-68), one of the best pure shooters in Hokie history who led Virginia Tech to their first post-season appearances in 1966 and 1967.
Gminski, Anderson and Chappell were all selected as members of the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Team in 2003. Gminski, Anderson and Chappell were also named consensus All-Americas while James and Charles earned All-America honors during their careers.
Nine of the Legends–Campbell (15 years), Gminski (14 years), Anderson (13), Chappell (11), Ward (11), Crotty (11), Curley (7), Charles (3) and James (3)–played in the National Basketball Association, while one, Combs, spent seven seasons playing professionally in the ABA.
Curley (Duxbury, Mass.), still ranks fourth on Boston College’s career scoring list with 2,102 points. He also ranks fourth in career field goal percentage and rebounding (996). Named the 1991 Big East Rookie of the Year in 1991, he earned second-team All-Big East honors in 1992 and first-team accolades in 1993 and 1994. He led the Eagles to two NIT appearances and to the Sweet Sixteen round of the 1994 NCAA Tournament. A third-team All-America by the NABC in 1994, he was chosen in the first round of the 1994 NBA draft by the San Antonio Spurs as the 22nd overall selection. He currently resides in his hometown of Duxbury, Mass.
Campbell (Los Angeles, Calif.), helped lead Clemson to NCAA Tournament berths in 1989 and 1990 including advancing to the 1990 Sweet Sixteen. He led the ACC in blocked shots for three consecutive years in 1988, 1989 and 1990 and is currently 9th on the ACC career list for blocked shots averaging 2.72 in an 123-game career. A first-team All-ACC honoree in 1990, he also earned second-team honors in 1989. In 1990, he helped lead the Tigers to a first-place regular season finish in the ACC and a No. 17 national ranking in the final Associated Press poll. A first round draft selection of the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1990 NBA Draft, he enjoyed a 15-year career in the NBA with seven different teams. He currently lives in his hometown of Los Angeles.
Gminski (Monroe, Conn.), one of only 23 players in ACC history to have been named first-team All-ACC three times (1978-80), was a second-team All-America in 1978 and 1980, and earned consensus All-America honors in 1979. He currently ranks seventh on the ACC career scoring list with 2,323 points in 122 games, a 19.0 average. He also ranks 7th in ACC history in rebounding (1,242) and 6th in blocked shots. The only three-time Academic All-America in Duke history, he was also a three-time member of the ACC’s All-Academic Basketball team (1978-80). He led the Blue Devils to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances in 1978, 1979 and 1980. A first-round draftee of the New Jersey Nets in the 1980 NBA Draft, he enjoyed a 14 year professional career with New Jersey, Philadelphia, Charlotte and Milwaukee. He currently resides in Charlotte, N.C.
Ward (Thomasville, Ga.), a two-sport standout for Florida State as a quarterback in football and a point guard in basketball, led FSU to three NCAA Tournament appearances including advancing to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1992 and the NCAA Elite Eight in 1993. Florida State’s career steals leader with 238, his 8 steals against Wake Forest in 1992 tied for the eighth-best effort ever in an ACC contest. He helped lead FSU to final national AP rankings of No. 20 in 1992 and No. 11 in 1993. The 1993 Heisman award-winner in football, he was voted the McKevlin Award as the ACC Athlete of the Year in 1993 and 1994. An excellent student, he was also chosen to the ACC All-Academic Basketball Team in 1992 and 1993. He guided the Seminoles to the 1991 Metro Conference Championship and was a first-round selection by the New York Knicks in the 1994 NBA Draft. He played 11 seasons in the NBA with New York, Phoenix, San Antonio and Houston. He currently lives in Houston, Tx.
Driesell (Norfolk, Va.), a 1954 graduate of Duke, is the only coach to win 100 victories at each of the four schools in which he coached–Davidson, Maryland, James Madison and Georgia State. He ranks 10th among all coaching victories with 786, but sixth among coaches with only Division I wins. Arriving in College Park in 1970, he led the Terrapins to eight NCAA Tournament and three NIT berths and twice was named ACC Coach of the Year in 1975 and 1980. He led Maryland to the 1984 ACC Championship as well as first-place regular season finishes in 1975 and 1980. His Terrapin teams posted four finishes in the Top 10 and eight in the Top 20. He currently ranks fifth on the all-time ACC career wins list with 348 and also ranks fifth in career ACC Tournament victories. Inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007, he currently resides in Virginia Beach, Va.
James (Miami, Fla.), one of the key figures in the rejuvenation of Miami basketball, led the Hurricanes to their NCAA Tournament berths in 1998 and 1999, the Hurricanes first in almost 40 years. Chosen to the All-Big East Freshmen team in 1996, he was a second-team all-Big East pick in 1997 and earned first-team All-Big East honors in 1998 and 1999. Named Co-Big East Player of the Year in 1999, he is the only Miami player to score over 1,500 points, 800 rebounds and block 200 shots in their career. He is ranked second on Miami’s career lists in blocked shots, fifth in rebounds, sixth in scoring and ninth in field goal percentage. A first-round draft pick by the Miami Heat in the 1999 NBA Draft, he played three seasons in the NBA with Miami, Charlotte and Philadelphia. He currently lives outside of Atlanta.
Smith (Emporia, KS), a 1953 graduate of Kansas, assumed the head coaching position at UNC in 1961-62, after serving three years as an assistant coach to the Legendary Frank McGuire. He then led the Tar Heels to an unprecedented 13 ACC Championships in his 36 seasons as head coach and his teams reached the NCAA Tournament in each of his last 23 seasons and 27 times overall. His 1982 and 1993 teams captured the National Championship. Named ACC Coach of the Year eight times, his Tar Heel teams compiled a .728 winning percentage in ACC play, finished first in the regular season 17 times and finished no lower than third in the ACC standings for 33 successive seasons. His final 27 teams won at least 21 games, a feat unmatched in college basketball history. In 1976, he coached the United State’s Olympic Team to a gold medal at Montreal. Since his retirement from coaching after the 1997 season, he has resided in Chapel Hill.
Charles (Brooklyn, N. Y.), a prototypical power forward who was an inside force on NC State’s teams in the mid-80’s earned first-team All-ACC selections in 1984 and 1985 and was a third-team All-America honoree by AP in 1984. He helped lead the Wolfpack to the Elite Eight in 1985 and a NIT berth in 1984. He still ranks 15th on State’s scoring list with 1,535 career points while posting a 55.2 career field goal percentage as he averaged over 18 points a game in his final two seasons. He is best remembered, though, for his role in State’s magical post-season run 25 years ago. He started the run with the game-winning free throw against Wake Forest in the Wolfpack’s opening win in the ACC Tournament, then capped it off with the follow dunk off Dereck Whittenburg’s last-second shot attempt in State’s historic upset of Houston. A second-round draft pick by Atlanta in the 1985 NBA Draft, he played three seasons professionally, all with the Hawks. Charles currently lives in Wake Forest, N.C.
Crotty (Spring Lake, N.J.), one of the top playmakers in Cavalier history, is the all-time career leader in assists for Virginia with 683. He also holds UVa records for assists in a season (214) and game (14). A third-team All-ACC selection in 1990 and 1991, he was also named to the ACC’s All-Academic team in each of those seasons as well. He was named to the ACC All-Tournament second team in 1990 in helping the Cavaliers reach the ACC title game in Charlotte in Terry Holland’s final game as a coach in the ACC. He currently ranks 16th on the ACC career assist list. Though not drafted, he played 11 seasons in the NBA with Utah, Cleveland, Miami, Portland, Seattle and Denver. He currently lives in Coral Gables, Fla.
Combs (Carr Creek, Ky.), nicknamed the “Kentucky Rifle” for his long range shooting ability, led Virginia Tech to its first post-season tournaments ever, a 1966 trip to the NIT, and a 1967 appearance in the NCAA Tournament in which the Hokies came within an overtime loss to Dayton from earning a berth in the 1967 NCAA Final Four. He still holds the Virginia Tech record for most points in an NCAA Tournament game, scoring 29 in a win over Indiana in the Regional Semifinals. He led Tech in scoring in 1967 with a 21.3 average and in 1968 with a 20.9 norm. Despite playing only three seasons with the varsity, he still ranks 16th on Tech’s career scoring list with 1,361 points. A fifth-round draft choice by the San Diego Rockets of the NBA in 1968, he opted for the ABA instead, playing seven seasons for Dallas, Utah, Memphis and Virginia. He scored 7,666 points in the ABA, appearing in three All-Star Games and helping the Utah Stars to win the 1971 ABA Championship. He is currently resides in Roanoke, Va.
Chappell (Portage, Pa.) is one of only 10 players in ACC history who have been named ACC player of the Year more than once. Currently ranks seventh in career scoring average, averaging 24.89 points per game for 87 contests. He also ranks fourth in the ACC in career rebounds per game, averaging 13.94. Named a first-team All-America in 1961, he earned consensus first-team All-America selection in 1962. One of the pre-eminent scorers in Conference history, he averaged 30.1 points a game in 1962 when he set the record for most points in an ACC game–50 against Virginia. He led Wake to two NCAA Tournament appearances including a berth in the 1962 Final Four where they lost in the semifinals but defeated UCLA for third place. One of only three players in ACC history who have been MVP of the ACC Tournament twice, as he led the Deacs to ACC titles in 1961 and 1962. He played in the ACC Championship Game in all three of his varsity seasons, averaging 27.3 points in championship play. Drafted on the first round of the 1962 NBA draft by Syracuse, he played 11 seasons with 10 different teams. He currently lives in Waterford, Wisconsin, just outside Milwaukee.
The Legends will be honored at this year’s ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Charlotte at the annual ACC Basketball Legends Brunch, which will be held on Saturday, March 15 beginning at 10 a.m. Hosted by television personalities Tim Brant and Mike Hogewood, the ACC Men’s Basketball Legends Brunch will be held in the in the Grand Ballroom of the Westin Hotel. Tickets, priced at $35 each and tables of ten for $350 each, can be obtained by calling 1-704-688-8531.
Name School Years Position Hometown (Current Hometown)
Bill Curley Boston College 1991-94 Center Duxbury, MA (Duxbury) Elden Campbell Clemson 1987-90 Center Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles) Mike Gminksi Duke 1977-80 Center Monroe, CT (Charlotte, NC) Charlie Ward Florida State 1991-94 Point Guard Thomasville, Ga. (Houston, TX) Kenny Anderson Georgia Tech 1990-91 Point Guard Brooklyn, NY (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) Lefty Driesell Maryland 1970-87 Head Coach Norfolk, VA (Virginia Beach, VA) Tim James Miami 1996-99 Forward Miami, FL (Atlanta, GA) Dean Smith North Carolina 1961-97 Head Coach Emporia, KS (Chapel Hill, NC) Lorenzo Charles NC State 1982-85 Forward Brooklyn, NY (Wake Forest, NC) John Crotty Virginia 1988-91 Point Guard Spring Lake, NJ (Coral Gables, FL) Glen Combs Virginia Tech 1966-68 Forward Carr Creek, KY (Roanoke, VA) Len Chappell Wake Forest 1960-62 Forward Portage, PA (Waterford, WI)