Duke University has long been one of college basketball’s powerhouse schools. Since 1964, Duke has made 15 appearances in the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament. The school has had more than its fair share of great players as 13 have had their jersey numbers retired by the team. Among the best NBA players from Duke University are All-Stars Grant Hill, Elton Brand, and Carlos Boozer.
Small forward Grant Hill is one of the best NBA players from Duke University. As a Blue Devil, Hill is best remembered for making one of the most memorable passes in college basketball history. When he was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in 1994, he was an instant NBA star. For the first several years of his NBA career, Grant Hill was an elite scorer, a dynamic passer, and one of the best basketball players on the planet. He started his career with the 2005 NBA Rookie of the Year Award, six consecutive All-Star appearances, and five straight years on All-NBA teams. Over the course of his 15-year career, Grant Hill has averages of 17.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game.
Among the best NBA players from Duke University is big man Elton Brand. Brand was the first overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft and just the second number one pick to attend Duke. Like Hill, Brand had a great start to his career, but has tapered off in recent seasons due to injuries. Drafted by the Chicago Bulls, Elton Brand immediately averaged 20 points and ten rebounds per game in his rookie year, a feat he would accomplish five times in his career. He won the 2000 NBA Rookie of the Year Award and made All-Star teams in 2002 and 2006.
One of the league’s second round success stories, Carlos Boozer is one of the best NBA players from Duke University. Drafted by Cleveland in 2002, Carlos Boozer became an NBA starter less than halfway into his first season. Before his third season, he signed with the Utah Jazz and developed into one of the league’s big men. Boozer made the All-Star team in 2007 and 2008, averaging 20 and ten in each season. Through eight NBA seasons, Boozer is averaging a double-double for his career with 17.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game.
Jeff Mullins played from 1964 to 1976 and remains one of the best NBA players from Duke University. At Duke, Mullins won an ACC Player of the Year Award and averaged 22 points per game for his college career. Mullins spent most of his NBA career with the Warriors and made three All-Star appearances with the team. He averaged better than 20 points per contest for four straight seasons and eventually won an NBA Championship with Golden State toward the end of his career.
Swingman Corey Maggette has been a strong scoring wingman for more than a decade and is one of the best NBA players from Duke University. Maggette spent his rookie year with the Orlando Magic in 1999-00, but he became a great scorer as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers. Maggette has had three seasons of at least 20 points per game and ranks ninth among active players in free throws made with more than 4,000 in his career. Now with the Milwaukee Bucks, Maggette has career averages of 16.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.