GREENSBORO, N.C.—One of the most successful coaches in Atlantic Coast Conference history, a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, a former ACC Athlete of the Year and a former ACC Basketball Player of the Year history headline the 2014 ACC Men’s Basketball Legends Class announced Wednesday by Commissioner John Swofford.
Included are two members of the ACC’s 50th Anniversary basketball team, nine former All-Americas, seven former All-ACC selections, eight former first-round NBA Draft selections, three players who led their teams to four ACC Championships and players who led their teams to an NCAA title and one NIT Championship.
Leading the way is former Virginia head coach Terry Holland (Clinton, N.C.), who guided the Cavaliers to a pair of NCAA Final Four Appearances in a 16-year career in Charlottesville that included an NIT Championship, 13 post-season berths and nine NCAA Tournament invitations; former Syracuse sharpshooting guard Dave Bing (Washington, D.C.), who was a consensus All-America for the Orange and a seven-time NBA All-Star while earning selection to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame; Maryland’s John Lucas (Durham, N.C.), one of the great overall athletes in ACC history who captured the ACC’s McKevlin Award in 1976 as the league’s top overall athlete after earning first-team All-America honors in both basketball and tennis; and NC State’sJulius Hodge (New York, N.Y.) who earned ACC Basketball Player of the Year honors for the Wolfpack in 2004.
Joining them are Boston College’s Jack Magee (Bronx, N.Y.), who led BC to its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 1958 and also its historic first win over Holy Cross; Clemson’s Wayne “Tree” Rollins (Cordele, Ga.), who at 7-1 was one of the great defensive intimidators and rebounders in league history; Duke’s Gene Banks (Philadelphia, Pa.), one of the key cogs of the Blue Devils’ 1978 Final Four team and one of the most versatile players in league history; Florida State’s Al Thornton (Perry, Ga.), an All-America forward who was a powerful offensive force for the Seminoles and runner-up for ACC Player of the Year in 2007; Georgia Tech’s Travis Best (Springfield, Mass.), a sweet-shooting point guard who led the Rambling Wreck to two NCAA Tournament and one NIT berth; and Miami’s Steve Edwards (Miami, Fla.), a multi-talented big guard for the Hurricanes who helped rebuild Miami’s program in the mid 1990s.
Completing this year’s ACC Legends class are North Carolina’s Eric Montross (Indianapolis, Ind.), a powerful pivotman who was a two-time All-America and key player on the Tar Heels’ 1993 National Championship team; Notre Dame’s Pat Garrity (New Canaan, Conn.) a second-team All-America and a two-time first-team Academic All-America for the Irish during the late 1990s; Pitt’s Don Hennon (Wampum, Pa.), a two-time first-team All-America who is the Panthers all-time leading scorer and a member of the Helms Foundation Basketball Hall of Fame; Virginia’s Tech’s Bobby Stevens (Chester, Pa.), the author of the Hokies famed game-winning shot in the championship of the 1973 National Invitation Tournament against Notre Dame and Wake Forest all-purpose forward Sam Ivy (St. Louis, Mo.), a lynchpin of the Demon Deacon teams of the late 1980s.
The Legends will be honored at this year’s ACC’s Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C., March 12-16. They will be feted at the annual ACC Legends Brunch, which will be held Saturday, March 15, beginning at 10 a.m. in the Guilford Ballroom of the Sheraton Four Seasons Hotel, and, later that day, will be introduced to the Greensboro Coliseum crowd at halftime of the first semifinal game. Ticket information for the ACC Legends Brunch is available on the ACC website at theACC.com and at the bottom of this release.
Stevens (1972-74) was a sharpshooting, ball-hawking guard who helped provide the leadership for head coach Don Devoe’s 1973 Virginia Tech basketball team which ended up winning the school’s first national championship in basketball, claiming the 1973 National Invitation Tournament title in New York’s Madison Square Garden. Playing alongside two of the top players in Tech history in Allen Bristow and Craig Lieder, Stevens, at 5-10, would not be hard to overlook. But the scrappy native of Chester, Pa., happened to make all of the right plays in that star-crossed year for the Hokies. A transfer from Ferrum College, Stevens was playing his first season in Division I Basketball and he proved to be the final piece the Hokies needed. He averaged just 9.7 points a game that year, and though he was a good passer and ball handler, assists in those days were not kept. Tech finished the 1973 regular season with an 18-5 and earned a berth in the NIT at a time when the NCAA Tournament took only 24 teams. Still, that year Virginia Tech had won games at Ohio State, West Virginia and Wake Forest and made their way through the NIT defeating New Mexico, Fairfield and Alabama by a total of just four points in a series of nail biters in which Stevens played a major role. Now facing Notre Dame in the Championship it appeared as if time had run out as with six minutes remaining, Tech trailed by 12 points. Stevens, benched earlier, came back late to help force the game into overtime. With the clock running down and Tech trailing by a point, Stevens, who had seven points in the overtime session, threw up a shot which missed, but he was able to get the long rebound and quickly put up a shot at the buzzer that gave the Hokies a one-point overtime upset win over the Irish and the NIT Championship. Stevens would go on to play one more year for Tech and then had an abortive tryout with the Virginia Squires before beginning a long coaching career which included time at Virginia Tech. He recently retired as head coach at Rock Hill High in Rock Hill, S.C. Originally a native of Chester, Pa., he currently lives in Rock Hill.
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