ACC to Honor NBRPA Members Tree Rollins, Dave Bing & John Lucas

January 31, 2014

The ACC announced this week that 15 Legends that will be honored at the 2014 ACC Tournament & ACC Legends Brunch. Among those 15 Legends are three NBRPA members: Dave Bing, John Lucas and Wayne "Tree" Rollins.

One of the most successful coaches in Atlantic Coast Conference 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 headline the 2014 ACC Men’s Basketball Legends Class announced Wednesday by Commissioner John Swofford.

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.

Leading the way is 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.

Joining them 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; Georgia Tech’s Travis Best (Springfield, Mass.), a sweet-shooting point guard who led the Rambling Wreck to two NCAA Tournament and one NIT berth;  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 and later that day, will be introduced to the Greensboro Coliseum crowd at halftime of the first semifinal game.

Rollins (1973-77), a true dominating big man at center, is one of the great rebounders and shot blockers in league history. Nicknamed during his career “The Intimidator”, he started four seasons for Clemson, the first two in 1974-75 under Tates Locke and the last two under Bill Foster in 1976 and 1977. He helped lead the Tigers to a 71-39 record (.645) and an appearance in the NIT in 1975. Rollins twice led the ACC in rebounding (1975, 1977) and led the conference in shot blocking in 1977,

the first year the league kept the statistic. He still ranks fifth in the ACC in career rebounding with 1,311 boards and an 11.9 per-game average. He finished his career as the ACC’s career leader in blocked shots. Rollins still ranks third in total blocks with 450, and is still first in blocks per game, averaging 4.1 a contest. Three times he blocked 10 shots in a game and he is one of only five players in ACC history to record more than one triple-double, twice accomplishing the feat. Three times named to the All-ACC second-team, he earned second-team All-America honors as a senior. The 14th overall selection of the 1977 NBA Draft, he played 18 seasons in the NBA, the first 11 with Atlanta. He also played for Cleveland, Detroit, Houston and Orlando. He is one of only three ACC players to have played as many as 18 seasons in the NBA along with UNC’s Jerry Stackhouse and Duke’s Grant Hill. He was named to the 1984 NBA All-Defensive first team and to the 1983 second team. He finished his pro career ranked fourth on the NBA Career list for blocked shots and is still ninth with 2,542 career blocks. Since retirement, he has served as an assistant coach for the Orlando Magic, a head coach in the National Basketball Development League, an assistant coach and head coach in the WNBA for the Washington Mystics and an assistant coach for the Chicago Sky. Originally a native of Cordele, Ga., Rollins now lives in Apopka, Fla.

Lucas (1972-76), a leader of some of the best Maryland basketball teams in school history under coach Lefty Driesell, is also one of the best all-around athletes in ACC history. He earned All-America honors in both basketball and tennis and was the winner of the ACC’s prestigious McKevlin Award in 1976 as the Conference’s top all-around athlete. On the basketball court, he started four seasons for Maryland at point guard, earning All-America honors three times, including being named first-team consensus All-America in both his junior and senior years (1975-76). Named to the first-team All-ACC Tournament team as a freshman, he is one of only 24 ACC basketball players to be named first-team All-ACC three straight years (1974, 75, 76). He was one of the key figures in what is regarded as the greatest ACC Basketball Game of all-time, a 103-100 Maryland overtime loss to eventual National Champion NC State in the 1974 ACC Tournament Championship. Lucas helped guide the Terps to a four-year record of 92-23 (.800) as Maryland had three top 10 national finishes and never finished below 11th in the final AP poll during his four seasons in College Park. The first overall selection of the 1976 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets, Lucas enjoyed a 14-year NBA career with Houston, Golden State, Washington, Milwaukee and Seatte. He totaled 9,951 points and 6,454 assists during his playing career. He also served as a coach with the Miami Tropics of the USBL and San Antonio, Philadelphia and Cleveland of the NBA. In tennis, he was the ACC’s No. 1 singles champion in both 1974 and 1976. He also competed professionally in several Grand Prix Tournaments, played World Team Tennis and also served as coach of the Houston Wranglers. Originally a native of Durham, N.C., he now resides in Houston.

Bing (1962-66) is one of the most explosive offensive players in Syracuse and NBA history. The quintessential lead guard, he led Syracuse in scoring in each of his three varsity seasons. He averaged 22.2 points per game as a sophomore in 1964, 23.2 points as a junior in 1965 and 28.4 points as a senior in 1966. In his final season, he ranked fifth in the nation in scoring and became Syracuse’ first consensus All-America in basketball in 39 years. With freshmen not eligible for varsity competition, he played just three seasons but still ranks ninth on Syracuse’ career scoring list with 1,883 points. He averaged 24.8 points per game for his career. A former roommate and teammate of current Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim, he joined with Jimmy Walker to give Syracuse one of the most, if not the most, potent backcourts in the nation. He helped lead the Orange to a 52-24 record, one appearance in the NIT and one in the NCAA Tournament. Bing was the second person selected in the 1966 NBA Draft. Chosen by the Detroit Pistons, he went on to play 12 years in the NBA, the first nine with Detroit. He was a seven-time NBA All-Star and the MVP of the 1976 All-Star Game. He finished his professional career having scored 18,327 points, averaging 20.3 points per game. Named to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary Team, he twice was named to the All-NBA First Team and led the league in scoring in 1968. His jersey, No. 21, was retired by the Pistons. In 1977, he was presented by the NBA with the prestigious J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for his community service. He finished his NBA career with short stints with Washington and the Boston Celtics. He was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1990. After retirement from basketball, he started his own successful company, Bing Steel which transformed to the Bing Group, a conglomerate headquartered in Detroit.  In 2009, he was presented with the National Civil Rights Museum Sports Legacy Award. Also that year, he was elected mayor of Detroit and served in that capacity until this past December. Originally a native of Washington, D.C., he resides in Detroit.

-Mike Finn, ACC

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