The New York Knicks are one of the most storied franchises in NBA history. Sure, they’ve only won two titles, but those are minor details. What the Knicks do have is a long history of picking up great players from HBCUs. Here is our top five list.
Anthony Mason, Tennessee State
Mason was originally selected by the Nuggets in the third round of the 1988 draft, but it wasn’t until he landed in New York that he began to blossom. The TSU product was a valuable contributor off the bench before becoming a starter at stops in Charlotte and Miami.
Dick Barnett, Tennessee State
One of the smoothest scorers of his era, Barnett averaged 15 ppg as in nine years as a Knick. He also added two NBA Titles to the three NAIA Titles he won at TSU.
Charles Oakley, Va. Union
Oakley averaged a double (10 ppg, 10 rbg) in 10 seasons in New York. The Virginia Union alum was one of the most notorious enforcers of the 90s NBA.
Earl Monroe, Winston-Salem State
After Monroe spent his first few seasons giving the Knicks the business, New York traded for him. People questioned whether or not he would be able to play with his former nemisis, Walt Frazier. Apparently the New York brass was on to something as The Pearl helped the Knicks to the 1973 title. He also made two all-star teams as a Knick and was the last remaining link to their glory days when he hung it up in 1980.
Willis Reed, Grambling State
Reed came to New York as an unknown big man from a school that no one had heard of (Grambling) and left as one of the most beloved sports figures in the Big Apple’s history.