Best College Basketball Players

The Top Ten
1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is an American retired professional basketball player who played 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association for the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers.

Kareem was arguably the best player at all three levels: high school, college, and pro. He put up enormous numbers everywhere he played. Kareem performed in an era where offense was run through the post, and the rules allowed opposing players to be much more physical with him.

Also, he had to play defense because most everybody took the ball to the basket, not shooting 3s like they do today. That didn't stop him from being the all-time scoring leader, barring whatever LeBron does. In college, beating his Bruins any time of the season was like winning a national title.

Unfortunately, he was only allowed to play three years at UCLA. He probably would have set every post record with a fourth year. I think he has always been overlooked for flashier players, but his championships and dominance can never be denied.

2 Pete Maravich Peter Press Maravich, known by his nickname Pistol Pete, was an American professional basketball player.
3 Wilt Chamberlain Wilton Norman "Wilt" Chamberlain was an American basketball player. He was born on August 21, 1936 in Philadelphia and died on October 12, 1999 in Los Angeles due to heart failure... read more
4 Magic Johnson Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. is a retired American professional basketball player who played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association for 13 seasons.
5 Michael Jordan Michael Jeffrey Jordan, also known by his initials, MJ, is an American retired professional basketball player.
6 Len Bias Leonard Kevin "Len" Bias was a first-team All-American college basketball forward at the University of Maryland.

Great player at Maryland, was an unstoppable force. Better than Jordan at the college level. He would have battled Jordan for NBA supremacy for the next 15 years but made a huge mistake that took his life.

So much potential. What a tragedy!

7 David Robinson David Maurice Robinson is an American former professional basketball player, who played center for the San Antonio Spurs in the National Basketball Association for his entire career.

Navy hasn't been relevant since he played 30 years ago.

8 Larry Bird Larry Joe Bird is an American retired professional basketball player who played for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association. Bird is a 3x champ, 1x ROTY, 1x Finals MVP, 3x 3PT Contest winner, all with the Boston Celtics. (1979-1992)

Carried a mid-major, Indiana State, to the national title game. The school hasn't done anything since. Bird also scored over 3,000 points in his college career.

9 Oscar Robertson Oscar Palmer Robertson, nicknamed "The Big O", is an American retired National Basketball Association player who played for the Cincinnati Royals and Milwaukee Bucks.
10 Kemba Walker Kemba Hudley Walker is an American professional basketball player for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association. He had previously played for the Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets from 2011 to 2019, and the Boston Celtics from 2019-2021. He was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder after... read more
The Contenders
11 Christian Laettner

21-2 NCAA tournament record. Should be in the top 10. He couldn't help that his NBA career started in lousy Minnesota. His pro numbers would have been much better anywhere else.

Say what you want about him, but the dude balled out like no one else and hit the most clutch shot in tournament history.

12 David Thompson

I agree with the top 4, with Mr. Skywalker in 5th. He was way better than Jordan at this level.

13 Bill Walton
14 Ralph Sampson

Three-time national player of the year in one of the most competitive eras. Sampson led Virginia to three straight ACC regular-season titles.

15 Patrick Ewing Patrick Aloysius Ewing (born August 5, 1962) is a Jamaican-American retired Hall of Fame basketball player and current head coach of the Georgetown University men's basketball team.

One of the most intimidating forces that college basketball has seen. Led Georgetown to three championship games, winning it all in 1984.

16 Allen Iverson Allen Ezail Iverson is an American retired professional basketball player who played for 14 seasons in the National Basketball Association.
17 Tyler Hansbrough
18 Zion Williamson Zion Lateef Williamson is an American professional basketball player for the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association.
19 Charles Barkley Charles Wade Barkley is an American retired professional basketball player and current analyst on the television program Inside the NBA.
20 Jerry West Jerry Alan West was an American basketball player who played his entire professional career for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association.

Come on, man. Jerry West played small forward. He was a great rebounder in college. Just as he succeeded in the NBA, he should be in the top 10 or top 5.

But it doesn't mean a thing if you don't get that ring. At least he got one ring in the NBA. That ring came in 1972. He played with Wilt Chamberlain, who is considered to be the most mythological, intimidating, and strongest, but I'm talking about Jerry West.

21 Doug McDermott
22 Bill Russell William Felton "Bill" Russell was an American retired professional basketball player. Russell played center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association from 1956 to 1969.

This is a ridiculous ranking for him! One-hit wonder and injury-riddled Zion Williamson at 18 is a joke! I have Russell at #2. He led San Francisco to back-to-back titles in '55 and '56. His defense and rebounding were legendary.

KC Jones took over after he graduated and led them back to a Final Four in '57. The Dons, other than the good-not-great Bill Cartwright teams of the mid to late '70s, have been irrelevant since.

23 Elvin Hayes Elvin Ernest Hayes is an American retired professional basketball player and radio analyst for his alma-mater Houston Cougars.
24 Jerry Lucas
25 Anthony Davis Anthony Marshon Davis Jr. is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association.
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