GW Athletics Honors All-Century Men's Basketball Team on March 2-3
WASHINGTON, D.C. George Washington University's Department of Athletics selected an All-Century men's basketball and honored that squad of 23 on March 2-3 at Smith Center.
The all-time Colonials squad, ranging from the Class of 1940 (Red Auerbach) through the Class of 99 (Yegor Mescheriakov and Shawnta Rogers), includes six former NBA players, a legendary NBA coach, a current NBA official and the father of a young NBA star. Twenty of the 23 players are living and 16 of the selectees or their family members are expected to attend a March 2 dinner. The following afternoon (March 3) they will be introduced at halftime of the Colonials-Temple men's game. Tipoff time is noon (EST). Members of the GW All-Century men's squad are:
Arnold (Red) Auerbach 40 hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.; resides: Washington, D.C. Arguably the best coach in the history of the National Basketball Association, his Boston Celtics teams won nine NBA titles in 10 years, including eight straight between 1959 and 66. Lettered three seasons for the Colonials (38-40) and led his team in scoring (8.5 points) as a senior. A member of numerous Halls of Fame, including GW's inaugural Class of 59.
Mike Brown 85 hometown: East Orange, N.J.; resides: Las Vegas, Nev. This 6-foot-10 center earned Atlantic 10 first team all-conference honors in 1983-85 as well as the league's Rookie of the Year award in 83. Led the A-10 three straight years (83-85) in rebounding and was in league's top 6 in scoring as well. Ranks second all-time in both scoring and rebounding at GW with 1,916 points and 1,066 rebounds. He played 10 seasons in the NBA for five teams, including Chicago and Utah. Elected to the GW Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994.
Yinka Dare 94 hometown: Kabba, Nigeria resides: Englewood, N.J. Was the Colonials MVP in both 1993 and 94. Selected Freshman of the Year in both the Atlantic 10 Conference and nationally by Sports Illustrated in 1993. Named second team all- Atlantic 10 as both a freshman and sophomore. Owns Smith Center records for single game- offensive rebounds (10 vs. Temple in 93) and single game-defensive rebounds (15 vs. St. Bonaventure in 93). Left GW after his sophomore season and was drafted in the first round (14th selection) by the New Jersey Nets.
Walter (Corky) Devlin 55 hometown: Newark, N.J.; resides: deceased Played for the Colonials in three of the University winningest seasons (53-55). A starting guard (at 6-foot-5) on GW's first NCAA Tournament team in 54. Ranks ninth in GW scoring history with 1,564 points. Teamed with Joe Holup to provide the Colonials with a terrific one-two scoring punch. Led GW in scoring twice (54-55) and hit better than 80 percent of his free throws each of those seasons. Played NBA three seasons (56-58) for the Minneapolis Lakers and Ft. Wayne Pistons.
Jon Feldman 62 hometown: Newark, N.J.; resides: deceased Though standing only 5-foot-9, he ranks 10th in GW scoring history with 1,472 points. Had legendary shootouts vs. West Virginia's Jerry West. A member of GW's second NCAA Tournament team in 1961 after setting a then-Southern Conference tournament record for points (45) in leading GW to the conference tourney title. Named Southern Conference Tournament MVP in 1961. Also earned UPI Little All-America as well as All-Southern Conference Tournament first team honors in 61 and second team accolades in 62. Elected to the GW Athletic Hall of Fame in 1980.
Joe Gallagher 43 hometown: Washington, D.C.; resides: Silver Spring, Md. Starred at guard for the Colonials in the early 40s and captained GW's Southern Conference championship team in 1943, the University's first loop title. This Washington native then coached three sports (basketball, baseball and football) at St. John's High School. Among his many successful athletes was Basketball Hall of Fame coach Morgan Wootten. Elected to the GW Athletic Hall of Fame in 1976.
Gene Guarilia 59 hometown: Duryea, Pa.; resides: Duryea, Pa. Ranks 24th in GW scoring history with 1,136 points. At 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds, he led his team in scoring once (17.1 on 57), twice in FT percentage, including 83 percent in 59, and three times in rebounding, including 18.6 caroms in 59. A second round draft choice by Boston, he was one of three Colonials drafted by NBA clubs in 1959. A reserve forward for the Celtics, he won four championship rings in as many seasons with Coach Red Auerbach at Beantown!
Sonni Holland 93 hometown: Asbury Park, N.J.; resides: Neptune, N.J. Heart and soul of the GW 93 squad which advanced to the NCAA Tournament's "Sweet 16" before being eliminated by Michigan, the eventual finalist. He ranks 11th in school scoring history with 1,467 points. Won A-10 All-Freshman team honors in 90, all-conference second team honors in 91 and third team honors in 92. Was team's MVP in 1991.
John Holloran 77 hometown: Washington, D.C.; resides: Harrisonburg, Va. Smooth-shooting southpaw guard ranks 15th in GW scoring history with 1,374 points. Hit a memorable 38 points vs. Maryland's John Lucas at Cole Field House as Colonials spanked the Terps. Named first team All-Atlantic 10 in 77 (then known as the ECBLEastern Collegiate Basketball League). Team's MVP in 77 after finishing third in league in scoring and fourth in assists. Elected to GW Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995, joining his high school coach and GW great Joe Gallagher.
Joe Holup 56 hometown: Swoyersville, Pa.; resides: deceased A 6-foot-6 center, he is the GW's all-time leading scorer (2,226) and rebounder (2,030). Career averages were 21.4 points and 19.5 rebounds, and his career field goal percentage was an amazing 59 percent! GW teams during his four years were 81-23. His 49 points vs. Furman in 1956 is a Colonials' single game record and he led the nation in rebounding in 56, averaging 23 per game. Made many All-America teams in 56 and was MVP of the Southern Conference Tournament for three straight seasons (54-56). A first round NBA draft choice by the Syracuse Nationals, he also played for the Detroit Pistons. A 1977 inductee into the GW Athletic Hall of Fame.
Vaughn Jones 96 hometown: Washington, D.C.; resides: Washington, D.C. Ranks 23rd in career scoring at GW with 1,154 points, but his true strength was measured in his versatility. At one time or another, he played every position for Coach Mike Jarvis. A member of three NCAA Tournament teams, his GW clubs were 78-43 during his four seasons. He also was a winning player (and All-Met selection) in high school where he played for Morgan Wootten at D.C. powerhouse DeMatha Catholic.
Joe Lalli 67 hometown: Dunmore, Pa.; resides: Moscow, Pa. Despite his lack of size (5-foot-8), he led GW in scoring as a junior (16.9) and shared the team scoring title as a senior (17.5). Was the Colonials' MVP in 1967 and was co-MVP in 66. Led his club at the foul line as a senior (.835) on 147 of 176 attempts. Co-captained the Colonials in both 66 and 67. Also excelling in baseball at GW, he was an 86 electee to the GW Athletic Hall of Fame.
Yegor Mescheriakov 99 hometown: Minsk, Belarus resides: Turkey Was a member of three NCAA Tournament teams (96, 98-99) in his four seasons and ranks seventh on GW's all-time scoring list with 1,645 points. He led Colonials in rebounding and blocked shots as a senior. Earned A-10 all-conference second team honors twice and third team once. Was a member of the league's All-Rookie team as a freshman. Also was on the league's All-Academic team three straight years.
Ronnie Nunn 72 hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.; resides: Danbury, Conn. Ranks 29th in career scoring at GW with 1,068 points. As a senior, led his team in scoring (15.4) and free throw percentage (.842). He is now in his 17th season as an NBA official. He has officiated several NBA All-Star games and has worked in the NBA Playoffs for the past 13 years. He was inducted into the GW Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997.
Shawnta Rogers 99 hometown: Baltimore, Md.; resides: Lemans, France He was a do-it-all point guard for the Colonials, though standing only 5-foot-4. Owns or shares 12 Colonials individual records. A giant of a player in the Atlantic 10, he was the conference Player of the Year in 1999 after leading the league in four categories: scoring (20.7), assists (6.8), steals (103) and free throw percentage (.868). His 103 steals in 99 led all NCAA Division I players in that category. Won the 1999 Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award for the "best senior in the nation standing 6-feet or under." Ranks fifth in GW scoring history with 1,701 points and was team's MVP three straight years (97-99.)
Larry (Tex) Silverman 53 hometown: Jersey City, N.J.; resides: Chevy Chase, Md. This 6-foot-3 guard played three seasons for the Colonials and the team's combined record during those years was 41-27. As a junior, he earned third team all-Southern Conference honors. He served as team captain twice (in 52 and 53) and was the team's MVP as a junior. He was drafted in 1953 by the NBA's Rochester Royals (now the Sacramento Kings). He was elected to the GW Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.
Walt Szczerbiak 71 hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.; resides: Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. While he is also known as the Dad of second-year NBA standout Wally Szczerbiak (of the Minnesota Timberwolves), Walt was a star in his own right at GW. He is No. 26 on the Colonials all-time scoring list with 1,114 points. Twice he was the team's MVP (70 and 71) and as a senior averaged nearly 23 points per game. Hit career-high 41 points vs. West Virginia. Also netted 32 vs. Julius Erving and UMass at Madison Square Garden. He achieved pro hoop stardom in Spain, where he played eight seasons, and in Italy. Elected to the GW Athletic Hall of Fame in 1985.
Bob Tallent 69 hometown: Langley, Ky.; resides: Arlington, Va. Played one superb season (1969) at GW after transferring from Kentucky. Definitely a "shooting guard," he set single season marks for scoring average (28.9), field goals (284), field goals attempted (677) and consecutive free throws (41). After his MVP season and first team All- Southern Conference selection, he was drafted by teams in the NBA and ABA. While a knee injury ended his playing career, he later coached the Colonials for seven seasons (74-81), including a 20-victory season in 1976. Was elected to the GW Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990.
Mike Tallent 72 hometown: Langley, Ky.; resides: Haverford, Pa. Despite knee problems, which hampered his hoop career, he still ranks 28th on the school's all- time scoring list with 1,085 points. Led the Colonials (and the Southern Conference) in scoring as a junior (21.1 points in 70) and earned first team all-conference honors. Also earned all- tournament second team honors (with Szczerbiak) in 1970. Playing with older brother, Bob, as sophomore, he averaged 17.6 points in 69. After a medical redshirt season in 71 due to an injured knee, he managed to average 12 points during the first semester of his senior year.
Pat Tallent 76 hometown: Langley, Ky.; resides: Vienna, Va. He led the Colonials in scoring three times (73, 75 and 76) and is GW's third all-time leading scorer with 1,725 points. Like brothers Bob and Mike, he was a "shooting guard," averaging 20.8 points in three varsity seasons. Hit for 30 or more points nine times during his career, including a tops of 38 (vs. VMI). Team captain and MVP in both 75 and 76, he also earned Academic All- America honors during those seasons prior to being drafted by the NBA Bullets. Elected to the GW Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993.
Bill Telasky 59 hometown: Albany, N.Y.; resides: Renssalaer, N.Y. This 6-foot-1 guard ranks 17th on the Colonials all-time scoring list with 1,333 points. One of three 59 seniors drafted by NBA clubs, he was selected by Philadelphia in the fifth round (while Gene Guarilia went to Boston in the second round and Bucky McDonald to the Knicks in the sixth round). Along with WVU's Jerry West, earned Southern Conference All-Tournament first team honors at guard as a junior in 58. Led his team in field goal percentage (.509) as a senior.
Mike Zagardo 80 hometown: Timonium, Md.; resides: Peoria, Ill. An outstanding 6-foot-10 center, who played four seasons for Coach Bob Tallent, he scored 1,418 points during his GW career, ranking 13th on the University's all-time list. In addition, he also grabbed 824 career rebounds, leading the team three straight seasons (78-80). Earned Eastern Eight (pre-Atlantic 10) all-conference first team honors in both 79 and 80. Was team's MVP in 80 and co-MVP as a sophomore in 78. Also Academic All-America selection as an undergraduate. Elected to the GW Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.
Matt Zunic 42 hometown: New Kensington, Pa.; resides: Crystal River, Fla. Led the Colonials in scoring in back-to-back seasons (41 and 42), averaging 11.5 and 13.3 points, respectively. Scored 659 points in three varsity seasons. Was an all-Southern Conference player and honorable mention All-America selection in 42. Following four years of service in the U.S. Navy (42-46), this slender 6-foot-7 forward then played in the early NBA days, including one season (48-49) with the Washington Capitols, coached by Red Auerbach. A three-sport letterman at GW, he later served as head basketball coach at Boston University (52-59) and Massachusetts (60-64). Elected to the GW Athletic Hall of Fame in 1979.