Greatest Basketball Players - Tim Duncan - Wake Forest University Demon Deacons
March 29, 2008 AT 9:00 AM
Basketball College Careers of Greatest NBA Players of All Time: Tim Duncan Born in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 1976, believe it or not, Tim Duncan first strived to be an Olympic swimmer. It was not until grade nine when Duncan began playing basketball. After initial awkwardness because of his above average size, Duncan began to use his size and power to dominate, garnering attention from many universities. Duncan eventually chose Wake Forest and struggled at first, even being held scoreless in his first college game. However, in that same year his simple, effective play began to prove useful for the Demon Deacons, who finished the 93/94 season with a 20 and 11 record. By his sophomore year, Duncan was being heralded as one of the most promising NBA prospects along with other college players Rasheed Wallace and Jerry Stackhouse. He would, in fact, meet up with Rasheed Wallace’s Tar Heels in his sophomore year for the ACC Championship title. By neutralizing Wallace, Duncan was able to lead Wake Forest over North Carolina in overtime. Despite only making it to the Sweet Sixteen, Duncan was named Defensive Player of the Year, while averaging stats per game of 16.8 pts, 12.5 rebounds and an incredible 3.98 blocks. In the 1995-96 season, Duncan was the undisputed leader of Wake Forest leading his young team to an impressive record, only losing 4 times in the entire ACC season. However, after coming down with the flu in the Sweet Sixteen, Duncan was not able to lead his team any closer to the final four. Adhering to his late mother’s wishes, Duncan remained in college for a fourth year and earned his degree despite being rumored to enter the NBA Draft early. It would be another frustrating campaign for Duncan and Wake Forest in 96-97, however individually Duncan had another impressive campaign, wining Defensive Player of the Year for an unprecedented third year in a row, as well as taking home honors USBWA and Naismith College Player of the Year honors. He averaged 20.8 points, 14.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists in his senior season. In his 4 years at Wake Forest, Duncan proved his well-rounded skills and NBA potential by becoming one of only ten players to leave NCAA basketball with more than 2,000 points, 1000 rebounds, 400 blocked shots, and 200 assists. In the 1997 NBA Draft, the San Antonio Spurs would draft Duncan first overall. Here, along with continuing individual success, Duncan would finally capture a championship by defeating the New York Knicks in the 1999 NBA Finals.