One of the most successful programs in the venerable Big 12 Conference, the Kansas State University men’s basketball Wildcats have enjoyed a lengthy history of national success. The Wildcats have reached the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet Sixteen an appropriate 16 times while having 49 players selected in the NBA Draft. Among the best NBA players from Kansas State are former NBA All-Stars Mitch Richmond, Bob Boozer, and Rolando Blackman.
A top shooter and scorer throughout the 1990s, Mitch Richmond was one of the greatest NBA players from Kansas State University. Richmond led the Wildcats to the Elite Eight in 1988 before being made the fifth pick in the same year’s NBA Draft. He won the 1989 Rookie of the Year Award as he averaged 22 points, six rebounds, and four assists per game with the Warriors. In two more years with the Warriors and an additional seven with the Kings, Richmond started his career by scoring more 20 points per game for ten straight seasons. A six-time All-Star, Richmond scored 20,497 points in his NBA career.
The number one pick of the 1959 NBA Draft, forward Bob Boozer was one of the best NBA players from Kansas State University. Boozer was a two-time All-America player with the Wildcats and an All-Star in the NBA. In his early career, he averaged double-doubles in back-to-back seasons in 1961-62 and 1962-63; during his later seasons, he posted consecutive seasons of 20-plus points per game in 1967-68 and 1968-69. During his final season, Boozer was a part of the Bucks’ 1971 NBA Championship team.
A four-time All-Star for the Dallas Mavericks in the 1980s, retired swingman Rolando Blackman was one of the greatest NBA players from Kansas State University. Blackman guided KSU to the 1981 Elite Eight in his senior season, averaging 15 points and five rebounds for his college career. In 11 seasons in a Mavs’ uniform, he scored 16,643 points for an average of 19.2 per game and was the team’s all-time leading scorer until Dirk Nowitzki eclipsed his total.
Through two professional seasons, forward Michael Beasley has been one of the best NBA players from Kansas State University. In his only season at KSU, Beasley led the nation in scoring with 26.2 points per game, adding 12.4 rebounds to rank third nationally. Though he has yet to fully realize his potential, Beasley averaged 14.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in two seasons with the Miami Heat. After an offseason trade, he will begin the 2010-11 campaign with a clean start in Minnesota.
A backup guard who spent nine seasons with four teams, Mike Evans was one of the best NBA players from Kansas State University. The Wildcats’ all-time leading scorer, Evans scored 2,115 points with the school as he led it to the 1975 Elite Eight and the 1977 Sweet Sixteen. He bounced around the NBA from 1979 to 1982 with the Spurs, Bucks, and Cavs before finding a long-term home in Denver. Evans spent six seasons as the Nuggets’ backup point guard, averaging 8.7 points and 2.6 rebounds in his tenure.
NBA & ABA Players Who Attended Kansas State University. Basketball-Reference.com