The Gamecocks men’s basketball team at the University of South Carolina takes court in the powerhouse Southeastern Conference. The Gamecocks enjoyed a great deal of past success including a stretch of three straight appearances in the Sweet Sixteen. The best NBA players from the University of South Carolina include one Basketball Hall of Famer, Alex English.
The greatest NBA player from the University of South Carolina is Hall of Fame forward Alex English. As a freshman, English led the Gamecocks to the school’s most recent Sweet Sixteen in 1973. He entered the NBA in the 1976 draft as a second round pick, but he developed into a premier talent. When English landed in Denver in 1980, he began a string of nine straight seasons in which he averaged more than 23 points per game. The NBA’s scoring champion in 1983 totaled 25,613 points in his career, the 13th most in league history. English earned eight All-Star selections with career averages of 21.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in 1,193 games.
Two-time All-Star guard Brian Winters was a top NBA player from the University of South Carolina. After scoring 20 points per game as a senior, Winters was drafted 12th overall in the 1974 NBA Draft. Winters enjoyed a consistently strong nine-year career, spending eight of them with the Bucks. He averaged more than 18 points per game for four straight seasons from 1975 to 1979 and posted career averages of 16.2 points, 4.1 assists, and 1.2 steals per game.
Tom Owens spent 12 seasons in the pros as one of the best NBA players from the University of South Carolina. Owens began his professional career in the ABA in 1971. He had a solid ABA career including one double-double season before entering the NBA upon the league merger in 1976. Owens had his career year in the 1978-79 campaign with the Blazers with averages of 18.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per contest. His combined NBA and ABA totals include 9,898 points and 5,985 rebounds in 877 games.
Former Coach of the Year winner Mike Dunleavy was one of the best NBA players from the University of South Carolina. Dunleavy was a teammate of English and Winters on the Gamecocks’ successful 1973 team. In the NBA, he played the role of backup point guard for the bulk of his 11-year career. Dunleavy averaged 8.0 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. He was the NBA’s leader in both three point field goals (67) and three-point percentage (.345) in the 1982-83 season. After his playing career, Dunleavy began a brilliant coaching career that has spanned 17 seasons and four franchises.
Center Jim Fox was among the first NBA players from the University of South Carolina. Fox played ten seasons in the league with seven different teams. Fox averaged double figures in scoring five times including two seasons in which he averaged a double-double. His top season came in 1972-73 with the Sonics as he posted 11.4 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game with a .515 field goal percentage.
NBA & ABA Players Who Attended University of South Carolina. Basketball-Reference.com