March 17, 2003
Greensboro, NC –
North Carolina basketball player Michael Jordan was voted as the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Greatest Male Athlete of the league’s first 50 years as announced by Commissioner John Swofford this afternoon. NC State’s David Thompson and FSU’s Charlie Ward join Jordan as the top three all-time male athletes in a a vote of a 120-member blue-ribbon committee that was selected by the league’s 50th Anniversary Committee.
Ward is the most decorated player in the history of college football and won the Heisman Trophy after leading Florida State to it’s first national title in 1993. Ward was also the point guard on Seminole basketball teams that advance to the Sweet 16 his junior year and the Elite Eight his senior season. He set the school records for steals while at FSU.
Arguably one of the greatest players to ever have played the game, Jordan was the Consensus National Player of the Year, ACC Player of the Year and ACC Athlete of the Year in 1984. A three-year starter at North Carolina from 1982 to 1984, the Wilmington, N.C., native earned ACC Freshman of the Year honors in 1982 and was a unanimous All-ACC selection and first-team All-American in 1983 and 1984. As a freshman, Jordan hit the game-winning shot in the 1982 NCAA championship game against Georgetown as the Tar Heels claimed their second national title and the ACC’s third.
Jordan averaged 17.7 points and 5.0 rebounds in three years at Chapel Hill and played for U.S. Olympic gold medal-winning basketball teams in 1984 and 1992. The third overall selection in the 1984 NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls, Jordan went on to become a bonafide superstar in the pro ranks being named the league’s Rookie of the Year in 1985 and its Most Valuable Player in 1988, 1991, 1992, 1996 and 1998. Jordan, a 10-time NBA scoring leader and the league’s third all-time leading scorer with 31,826 points, led the Bulls to six NBA titles and was named NBA Finals MVP six times.
The ACC’s 50th Anniversary Top 50 Male Athletes are listed below:
ACC Top 10 Male Athletes
1. Michael Jordan. North Carolina
2. David Thompson……. NC State
3. Charlie Ward……. Florida State
4. Arnold Palmer….. Wake Forest
5. Randy White………… Maryland
6. Ralph Sampson……….. Virginia
7. Lawrence Taylor……………… North Carolina
8. Tim Duncan……… Wake Forest
9. Phil Ford………. North Carolina
10. Renaldo Nehemiah… Maryland
Michael Jordan, North Carolina (1982-1984)
Arguably the best player to ever play the game … Consensus National Player of the Year, ACC Player of the Year and ACC Athlete of the Year in 1984 … Sporting News National Player of the Year in 1983 … All-American in 1983 and 1984 … Hit the game-winning shot in 1982 NCAA championship game … Averaged 17.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game … Played for U.S. Olympic gold medal-winning teams in 1984 and 1992 … Led Carolina to an 88-13 record.
David Thompson, NC State (1973-1975)
A three-time unanimous, consensus first-team All-American … Named the AP National Player of the Year in 1974 and 1975 … UPI Player of the Year, Dunlop Player of the Year, Naismith Award winner, Kodak Award winner in 1975 … ACC Player of the Year in 1973, 1974 and 1975 … Earned MVP honors in 1973 World University Games … ACC all-time scoring leader following his career … Named to All-tournament team in every tournament he ever played in … Was the first pick in the 1975 NBA draft.
Charlie Ward, Florida State (1990-1993)
The most decorated player in the history of college football … the first Heisman Trophy winner in the ACC when he won the award in 1993 … literally, won every individual award that he qualified for as a senior … 22-2 as a starter at quarterback in FSU’s first two years in the ACC.
Arnold Palmer, Wake Forest (1948-1950, 1953-1954)
First-ever ACC Champion (1954) … two-time NCAA champion (1949, ’50) … 1954 U.S. Amateur Champion … 61 PGA Tour victories and 12 Senior Tour titles … won seven majors: U.S. Open, British Open (twice) and The Masters (four times) … seven Ryder Cup teams, captaining 1963 championship team … 1960’s Athlete of the Decade … Sports Illustrated’s 1960 Sportsman of the Year … PGA Tour’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998.
Randy White, Maryland (1972-1974)
Player whose combination of strength and quickness made him a prototypical defensive lineman in his day … Outland and Lombardi Trophy winner in 1974 … ACC Player of the Year in ’74 … AP All-American in 1973 and a consensus pick in ’74 … inductee of the National College and National Football League Halls of Fame … career tackle for loss leader at Maryland with 122 … perennial All-Pro with the Dallas Cowboys (1975-88) and co-MVP of Super Bowl XII.
Ralph Sampson, Virginia (1980-1983)
Led the Cavaliers to an overall record of 112-23 during his career … three-time National and ACC Player of the Year … four-time first-team All-America and three-time first-team All-ACC selection … received three consecutive Rupp trophies, two consecutive Eastman Awards and two John R. Wooden Awards … ACC Rookie of the Year in 1980 … led the ACC in rebounding three times … played in three NCAA Tournaments and one NIT during his UVa career … helped lead the Cavaliers to the 1980 NIT Championship and the 1981 NCAA Final Four … Most Valuable Player of the 1980 NIT … served as team captain … holds UVa career records for rebounds (1,511), field goals made (899) and blocked shots (462), and ranks fourth on Virginia’s career scoring list (2,228) … selected by the Houston Rockets as the NBA’s number one draft choice in 1983 and went on to earn NBA Rookie of the Year honors.
Lawrence Taylor, North Carolina (1977-1980)
An outside linebacker who earned consensus All-America and the ACC Player of the Year honors in 1980 … established a Carolina single-season record with 16 sacks in 1980 … Carolina went 11-1 and won the ACC title in 1980 … selected as the No. 2 overall player in the NFL Draft and played 13 seasons with the New York Giants … elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Tim Duncan, Wake Forest (1994-1997)
A two-time first-team All-American in 1996 and 1997 … the consensus National Player of the Year in 1997 … became the 10th player in NCAA history to reach the 2,000 point/1,500 rebound mark … ranks second all-time in NCAA history with 481 blocked shots … the number one overall pick in the 1997 NBA Draft by San Antonio … named MVP of the 1999 NBA Finals after leading the Spurs to a title … Wake Forest retired his #21 jersey.
Phil Ford, North Carolina (1975-1978)
One of college basketball’s greatest point guards … Perfected the “Four Corners” offense … UNC’s all-time leading scorer with 2,290 points and third in assists with 753 … Averaged 18.6 points and 6.1 assists per contest … Averaged 23.6 points per game in the ACC Tournament during his four-year career … Was a member of the 1976 U.S. Olympic team which won the gold medal in Montreal … Wooden Award winner and three-time All-American (two-time consensus) … ACC Player of the Year … Three-time first-team All-ACC and two-time ACC Athlete of the Year … MVP of ACC Tournament as a freshman … One of five male athletes to win ACC Athlete of the Year honors twice.
Renaldo Nehemiah, Maryland (1978-1980)
Inducted into the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1997 … Two-time NCAA Champion in the 60-yard high hurdles (1978 and 1979) … Holds the NCAA record in the 60-yard high hurdles (6.90) set in 1979 … Five-time All-American in indoor and outdoor track … All-American in the 440-yard relay (1978) … ACC Champion in the 60-yard high hurdles in 1978 and 1979, and in the 60-yard dash in 1979 … Holds three Maryland records in the 100 meters with a time of 10.18 (1978), 200 meters at 20.36 (1979) and the 110-meter high hurdles at 12.91 (1979) … Became first man ever to break 13 seconds in the 110 high hurdles, running it in 12.91 … NCAA Champion in the 110 hurdles (1979) … Won six ACC Championships, named ACC Outdoor Meet Outstanding Performer in 1979 … Holds the ACC record in the 110-meter hurdles (13.00) set in 1979.
North Carolina’s Mia Hamm
voted as the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Greatest Female Athlete
GREENSBORO, N.C. — North Carolina soccer player Mia Hamm was voted as the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Greatest Female Athlete of the league’s first 50 years as announced by Commissioner John Swofford today. The selection of Hamm as the league’s top female athlete and of the league’s Top 50 female athletes was determined by a vote of a 120-member blue-ribbon committee that was selected by the league’s 50th Anniversary Committee.
Arguably one of the greatest women’s soccer players in the world, Hamm led the Tar Heels to four NCAA National Championships – 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993 – and a combined 92-1-2 (.979) overall record in her four years in Chapel Hill. The Burke, Va., product missed the 1991 season while helping the United States win the first Women’s World Cup in soccer. Hamm was the unanimous National Player of Year in 1992 and 1993 and ACC Player of Year in 1990, 1992 and 1993. The NCAA Tournament career and single-game record holder for goals, assists and points, Hamm led the nation in scoring in 1990, 1992 and 1993. In her junior season of 1992, Hamm set the NCAA single-season scoring record with 97 points on 32 goals and 33 assists. Hamm starred on U.S. National and Olympic Teams throughout her career and has scored more goals in international play than any player in history, male or female.
The ACC’s 50th Anniversary Top 50 Female Athletes are listed below:
ACC Top 10 Female Athletes
1. Mia Hamm……. North Carolina
2. Marion Jones…. North Carolina
3. Dawn Staley…………… Virginia
4. Julie Shea……………… NC State
5. Joan Benoit……………. NC State
6. Sue Walsh…….. North Carolina
7. Alana Beard……………….. Duke
8. Jen Adams…………… Maryland
9. Vanessa Webb……………. Duke
10. Charlotte Smith……………….. North Carolina
Mia Hamm, North Carolina (1989-90, 92-93)
Arguably, the greatest women’s soccer player in the world … Played on NCAA championship teams in 1989, 1990, 1992 and 1993 … Missed the 1991 season while helping U.S. win the first Women’s World Cup … Led four Tar Heel teams to a combined 92-1-2 record … Unanimous National Player of Year in 1992 and 1993 and ACC Player of Year in ’90-92-93 … Led the nation in scoring in 1990-92-93 … Set NCAA season scoring record in ’92 with 97 points … Holds NCAA Tournament career and single-game records for goals, assists and points … Has starred on U.S. National and Olympic Teams throughout her career … Has scored more international goals than any player in history, male or female.
Marion Jones, North Carolina (1994-1995, 1997)
All-American (Basketball America) in 1997 … 1997 ACC Tournament MVP … All ACC-Tournament in 1995 … All-ACC in 1995, ’97 … ACC All-Freshmen team 1994 … 1995 NCAA West Regional All-tournament team … Starting point guard on the 1994 NCAA Championship team … Career scoring average (16.8) ranks third in UNC history … In three years at UNC, ranks fifth on the school’s career assists list, third in steals and seventh in blocks … Also an All-American in track at UNC … Won five medals (three golds) at the 2000 Olympics.
Dawn Staley, Virginia (1989-1992)
1991 Honda-Broderick Cup Award winner … two-time Champion USA and WBCA Player of the Year and Naismith Player of the Year … U.S. Basketball Writers Association Player of the Year … 1991 Sports Illustrated Player of the Year … 1991 Honda Basketball Sports Award Winner … two-time U.S. Basketball Writers Association All-American … three-time Kodak All-American … two-time Mary Garber Award winner (ACC Female Athlete of the Year) … two-time ACC Player of the Year … three-time first-team All-ACC … 1991 and 1992 NCAA Final Four All-tournament team … 1991 Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Final Four … MVP of the 1992 ACC Tournament … three-time ACC All-tournament team … currently the head women’s basketball coach at Temple University and is also a player for the Charlotte Sting in the WNBA.
Julie Shea, NC State (1977-1980)
Earned All-America honors in 1977, 78, 79 and 80 … Member of the 1979 and 1980 AIAW National Championship squad … Named AIAW Cross Country Athlete of the Year in 1980 … Won the AIAW Individual National Championship in 1979 and 1980 … Member of the USA Cross Country team in 1977, 78, 79 and 80 … Recipient of the McKelvin Award in 1980 and 81 (ACC’s Outstanding Athlete) … Winner of the 1981 H.C. Kennett Award (NC State’s Outstanding Athlete) and the Alumni Athletic Award … Received the Broderick Award for Cross Country in 1980 … ACC Individual Champion in 1979 and 1980 … All-ACC in 1978, 79 and 80 … Women’s team MVP in 1980 … Member of Raleigh City Counil from 1995-1999.
Joan Benoit, NC State (1978)
All-American in 1977 and 1978 … All-ACC in 1978 … Won Boston Marathon in 1979 and 1983 … Won the Olympic Marathon at the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles.
Sue Walsh, North Carolina (1981-1984)
Member of the 1978 World Games team & 1980 U.S. Olympic Team … won 10 national championships (4 in 100 back, 3 in 200 back, 3 in 50 back) … won 50-yard, 100-yard & 200-yard backstroke, 50-yard freestyle & the 200-yard & 800-yard freestyle relay at 1981 ACC Championships … All-American in the 50-yard, 100-yard & 200-yard backstroke, 50-yard freestyle, 200-yard medley relay & the 200-yard & 800-yard free relays … that 200 medley relay won the national title … captured 5 ACC Championship Titles in 1982 & was an All-American in the 50-yard, 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke, 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard IM, 200-yard medley relay and the 200-yard free relay … in 1983 won six ACC Championship Titles and was named the ACC Meet Most Valuable Swimmer … All-American in the 50-yard, 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke, 100-yard IM, 200-yard medley relay and 200-yard and 400-yard free relays … Six ACC Championship Titles in 1984 as well as the ACC Meet Most Valuable Swimmer for the second year in a row … All-American in the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke, 400-yard medley relay, and the 200, 400, and 800-yard freestyle relay events … 27-time All-American … captured 23 ACC Titles …held the all-time record at UNC for the 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard backstroke … was American record holder in 50 free & 100 free … two-time CoSIDA/Verizon first-team Academic All-American … inducted into CoSIDA/Verizon Academic America Hall of Fame in 2002.
Alana Beard, Duke (2000-2002)
In just two years, has become one of the best ACC women’s basketball players of all time … Associated Press first-team All-American and Kodak All-American … ACC Player of the Year in 2002 … Consensus National Freshman of the Year in 2001 and ACC Rookie of the Year … Became the first freshman in ACC history to be named first-team All-ACC as a freshman and once again was named as a sophomore … Became the first ACC men’s or women’s player to notch over 600 points, 200 rebounds, 150 assists, 100 steals and 20 blocks in a season in 2001-02.
Jen Adams, Maryland (1998-2001)
All-time collegiate scoring leader with 445 points … Also the all-time assist leader with 178 … Owns Maryland’s career and single season records for points, goals, and assists … A member of four national championship teams … Named All-American and national player of the year three times … Scored more goals and assists in 2001 than any player in NCAA Division I … Member of the Australian National Team.
Vanessa Webb, Duke (1995-1999)
National Player of the Year in 1998 & 99 … a four-time All-American and All-ACC selection … winner of the 1999 Honda Award … ACC Female Athlete of the Year … 1996 ACC Rookie of the Year … Rolex All-Star in 1998 … NCAA Individual Champion in 1998 and won the Collegiate Grand Slam Championship at the Riviera All-American in 1996 … led Duke to four consecutive ACC Championships and the team did not lose an ACC match during her four years … posted a 161-25 singles record at Duke … is the all-time singles wins leader.
Charlotte Smith, North Carolina (1992-1995)
1995 ESPN National Player of the Year … All-American by Kodak, Associated Press and the USWBA, 1995 … Only UNC player to have her jersey retired … 1994 Final Four MVP after hitting the winning shot in the NCAA championship game … ACC Tournament MVP in 1994, ’95 … Two-time All-ACC … Member of World University Games Team (1995), Jones Cup Team (1995), U.S. Select Team (1994), Junior National Team (1992) … Third in career scoring (2,094) and second in career rebounding (1,200) at UNC … Plays for the WNBA Charlotte Sting.