The Telegraph

July 30, 2012

The Numbers Game

Numbers 39-30

No. 30

Tree Rollins, Crisp County, basketball

Bio: A true seven-footer, Rollins starred at Clemson from 1973-1977. He averaged 13.3 points and 11.9 rebounds during his four-year college career. He was the first player in any sport to have his jersey retired at Clemson. The Atlanta Hawks selected Rollins in the first round of the 1977 NBA Draft. Rollins would play 11 of his 18 NBA seasons with the Hawks. Rollins made the NBA All-Defensive Team in 1983-84. He finished in the top three in blocks in each of his first six NBA seasons. Rollins is still eighth in NBA history in career blocks after retiring in third all-time. He is the Hawks’ franchise leader in blocks with more than 978 than the next closest guy. Rollins played for four teams in his final seven NBA seasons, retiring with the Orlando Magic in 1995. Rollins coached both NBDL and WNBA teams following his retirement.

Why we picked him: Like few of the entrants in the Numbers Game, Rollins kept his same jersey number at every level. He wore No. 30 for 22 of his 24 seasons of basketball beginning in high school, with the lone exception coming in his two years with the Houston Rockets beginning in 1991. It also doesn’t hurt that a majority of his NBA career was spent with the hometown Hawks. He is among the franchise leaders in blocks (first), games played (second), field-goal percentage (third), offensive rebounds (third) and defensive rebounds (second).