Feb. 5, 2007
ATLANTA – Former Georgia Tech standout forward James Forrest is among 12 legends of Atlantic Coast Conference basketball who will be honored at the conference’s annual Legends celebration during the upcoming ACC Basketball Tournament, to be held Mar. 8-11 in Tampa, Fla.
Six former All-Americans, nine National Basketball Association draftees, two pivotal members of NCAA National Championship teams, one former consensus National Player of the Year and a total of 67 years of experience in the NBA are represented among the legends, announced by Commissioner John D. Swofford.
Forrest, a 6-7 power forward from Atlanta, turned in one of the most dominating performances in ACC Tournament history, leading Georgia Tech to the 1993 conference title. Playing on three consecutive days in the Charlotte Coliseum, Forrest averaged 26.7 points and 7.0 rebounds, while shooting 69 percent from the field and earned the Everett Case Award as the Tournament MVP. A two-time honorable mention All-America and a first-team All-ACC honoree in 1994, Forrest led Tech to one NIT and two NCAA appearances. He now lives in Decatur, Ga., after a long career playing overseas.
Led by former consensus National Player of the Year Christian Laettner (1989-92) of Duke and All-America point guard Tommy Kearns (1955-58) of North Carolina, both of whom helped lead their teams to national titles – Duke in 1991 and 1992, North Carolina in 1957 – this year’s class features four of the highest scoring backcourt men in their schools’ histories in Buzzy Wilkinson (1953-55) of Virginia, Bimbo Coles (1987-90) of Virginia Tech, Don Curnutt (1968-70) of Miami and Bob Sura (1992-95) of Florida State.
Also in this year’s class is Billy Jones (1966-68) of Maryland, the first African-American to play varsity basketball in the ACC; and a couple of mobile big men in Jay Murphy (1980-83) of Boston College and Murray Jarman (1981-84) of Clemson.
Completing the 2007 class are three players who were the prototypical power forwards of the 1990’s. Each possessed a unique blend of power, speed, quickness and ball handling ability not previously seen at that position in Wake Forest’s Rodney Rogers (1991-93), NC State’s Tom Gugliotta (1989-92) and Forrest.
The Legends will be honored at the annual ACC Basketball Legends Brunch, which will be held on Saturday, March 10 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 Tampa Marriott Waterside and Marina Hotel. Tickets, priced at $35 each and tables of ten for $350 each, can be obtained by calling the Tampa Bay Sports Commission at 813-218-3814.