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Travis Best to be Honored as ACC Basketball Legend

Jan. 29, 2014

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Greensboro, N.C. – Travis Best, a sharp-shooting point guard who helped Georgia Tech win the 1993 Atlantic Coast Conference championship, is among 15 basketball legends in the 2014 ACC Men’s Basketball Legends Class announced Wednesday by Commissioner John Swofford.

This year’s class includes one of the most successful coaches in ACC history, a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, a former ACC Athlete of the Year and a former ACC Basketball Player of the Year history. Also included are two members of the ACC’s 50th Anniversary basketball team, nine former All-Americas, seven former All-ACC selections, eight former first-round NBA Draft selections, three players who led their teams to four ACC Championships and players who led their teams to an NCAA title and one NIT Championship.

Best, who played for the Yellow Jackets from 1991-95, was one of an amazing line of gifted point guards to play for then head coach Bobby Cremins at Georgia Tech. He started for the Yellow Jackets for four seasons, leading them to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances, one NIT berth and one ACC Championship. A lefthander with excellent ball skills and also an excellent defender, Best still ranks 20th on the ACC’s career assist-to-turnover ratio, averaging 2.136 assists to turnover. He also ranks 15th on the ACC’s career list with 692 assists, an average of 5.58 per game for his 124-game career.

One of the most accurate free throw shooters in Tech history, he led the ACC in free throw percentage as a junior in 1994 (.866) and as a senior in 1995 (.847). He helped lead the Yellow Jackets to a four-year 76-48 (.613) record. Best was named to the All-ACC team three times, earning third-team accolades as a sophomore in 1993 and second-team honors in 1994 and 1995. During the 1993 campaign, he helped lead the Jackets to the ACC title, as Tech defeated eventual national champion North Carolina for its third ACC Championship under Cremins.

Best remains No. 6 on Tech’s all-time scoring list with 2,057 points, and his career scoring average of 16.6 points per game ranks 12th. He is No. 2 on the Tech charts in career assists and No. 3 in assist average and steals.

Best was the 23rd selection in the first round of the 1995 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers. He enjoyed an 11-year NBA career, the first eight with the Pacers, but also with Chicago, Miami, Dallas and New Jersey during which he scored 5,736 points (7.6 avg) and handed out 2,444 assists (3.5 avg.). He then played four more years professionally in Europe before retiring after the 2009 season. Originally a native of Springfield, Mass., he now resides in the metro Atlanta area.

Joining Best are former Virginia head coach Terry Holland (Clinton, N.C.), who guided the Cavaliers to a pair of NCAA Final Four Appearances in a 16-year career in Charlottesville that included an NIT Championship, 13 post-season berths and nine NCAA Tournament invitations; former Syracuse sharpshooting guard Dave Bing (Washington, D.C.), who was a consensus All-America for the Orange and a seven-time NBA All-Star while earning selection to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame; Maryland’s John Lucas (Durham, N.C.), one of the great overall athletes in ACC history who captured the ACC’s McKevlin Award in 1976 as the league’s top overall athlete after earning first-team All-America honors in both basketball and tennis; and NC State’s Julius Hodge (New York, N.Y.) who earned ACC Basketball Player of the Year honors for the Wolfpack in 2004.

Also in the Legends class are Boston College’s Jack Magee (Bronx, N.Y.), who led BC to its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 1958 and also its historic first win over Holy Cross; Clemson’s Wayne “Tree” Rollins (Cordele, Ga.), who at 7-1 was one of the great defensive intimidators and rebounders in league history; Duke’s Gene Banks (Philadelphia, Pa.), one of the key cogs of the Blue Devils’ 1978 Final Four team and one of the most versatile players in league history; Florida State’s Al Thornton (Perry, Ga.), an All-America forward who was a powerful offensive force for the Seminoles and runner-up for ACC Player of the Year in 2007; and Miami’s Steve Edwards (Miami, Fla.), a multi-talented big guard for the Hurricanes who helped rebuild Miami’s program in the mid 1990s.

Completing this year’s ACC Legends class are North Carolina’s Eric Montross (Indianapolis, Ind.), a powerful pivotman who was a two-time All-America and key player on the Tar Heels’ 1993 National Championship team; Notre Dame’s Pat Garrity (New Canaan, Conn.) a second-team All-America and a two-time first-team Academic All-America for the Irish during the late 1990s; Pitt’s Don Hennon (Wampum, Pa.), a two-time first-team All-America who is the Panthers all-time leading scorer and a member of the Helms Foundation Basketball Hall of Fame; Virginia’s Tech’s Bobby Stevens (Chester, Pa.), the author of the Hokies famed game-winning shot in the championship of the 1973 National Invitation Tournament against Notre Dame and Wake Forest all-purpose forward Sam Ivy (St. Louis, Mo.), a lynchpin of the Demon Deacon teams of the late 1980s.

The Legends will be honored at this year’s ACC’s Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C., March 12-16. They will be feted at the annual ACC Legends Brunch, which will be held Saturday, March 15, beginning at 10 a.m. in the Guilford Ballroom of the Sheraton Four Seasons Hotel, and, later that day, will be introduced to the Greensboro Coliseum crowd at halftime of the first semifinal game.

LEGENDS BRUNCH

The Legends will be honored at this year’s ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Greensboro at the annual ACC Basketball Legends Brunch, which will be held on Saturday, March 15, beginning at 10 a.m. in the Guilford Ballroom of the Sheraton Four Seasons Hotel. The event will include a short autograph session with the Legends at the conclusion of the Brunch. Tickets for the ACC Men’s Basketball Legends Brunch are priced at $35 each, and tables of 10 are available for $350 each. Information on purchasing tickets may be obtained at the official ACC websit.

2014 ACC BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT LEGENDS ROSTERName    School  Years   Position        Hometown (Current Hometown)Jack MaGee      Boston College  1957-59 Guard   Bronx, N.Y. (Fairfax, Va.)Wayne "Tree" Rollins    Clemson 1973-77 Center  Cordele, Ga. (Apopka, Fla.)Gene Banks      Duke    1977-81 Forward Philadelphia, Pa. (Washington, D.C.)Al Thornton     Florida State   2003-07 Forward Perry, Ga. (Atlanta, Ga.)Travis Best     Georgia Tech    1991-95 Guard   Springfield, Mass. (Atlanta, Ga.)John Lucas      Maryland        1972-76 Guard   Durham, N.C. (Bellaire, Tex.)Steve Edwards   Miami   1992-96 Guard   Miami, Fla. (same)Eric Montross   North Carolina  1990-94 Center  Indianapolis, Ind.(Chapel Hill, N.C.)Julius Hodge    NC State        2001-05 Forward New York, N.Y. (same)Pat Garrity     Notre Dame      1994-98 Forward Las Vegas, Nev. (New Canaan, Conn.)Don Hennon      Pitt    1956-59 Guard   Wampum, Pa. (Pittsburgh, Pa.)Dave Bing       Syracuse        1962-66 Guard   Washington, D.C. (Detroit, Mich.)Terry Holland   Virginia        1974-90 Head Coach      Clinton, N.C. (Greenville, N.C.)Bobby Stevens   Virginia Tech   1972-74 Guard   Chester, Pa. (Rock Hill, S.C.)Sam Ivy Wake Forest     1986-90 Forward St. Louis, Mo. (Clinton, Md.)

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