Aug. 11, 2004
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Bob Sura and Charlie Ward, who helped lead the Florida State men’s basketball team to the NCAA Tournament in 1992 and 1993, have been reunited in the NBA as both players signed free agent contracts with the NBA’s Houston Rockets earlier this week. The former Seminoles bring a combined 19 years of NBA experience to the Rockets’ backcourt. Sura averages 8.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 596 career games and Ward averages 6.3 points, 4.1 assists and 1.24 steals in 616 career games.
“This is an exciting day for us,” said team General Manager Carroll Dawson at a press conference to announce the signings Aug. 8. “We’re adding a lot of experience and a lot of know how to our backcourt in signing Bobby Sura and Charlie Ward. I think that this is a thing that has the coaches excited and everybody in the organization excited… it’s working out pretty good for us. I think that the experience, as well as the talent is going to help us a great deal. Both of these young men have been in the league for quite a while. They both have had success, they know what they’re doing out there and I think they’re going to help us to get where we want to go.”
Sura finished his collegiate career in 1995 as the Seminoles’ all-time leading scorer with 2,130 points. After earning ACC Rookie of the Year honors in 1992 he became the first player in school history to earn All-ACC First-Team honors in 1995. Sura was then drafted in the first round (17th overall selection) of the 1995 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He played in 119 career games (fourth all-time at Florida State), 731 made career field goals (first), 214 career 3-point shots (second), 454 free throws (second), earned 109 steals (third), dished out 435 assists (fifth) and pulled down 714 rebounds (12th).
Sura was inducted into the Florida State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003.
Ward, who completed his collegiate career in 1994, is considered to be the most decorated student-athlete in the history of college sports. He earned every college football award he was eligible for in 1993, including the Heisman Trophy, in leading Florida State to its first ever national football championship that season. Ward is joined by Terry Baker of Oregon State as the only two collegians to win the Heisman Trophy and play in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
Ward played in 91 career games and averaged 8.1 points per game. He led the Seminoles to the 1991 Metro Conference Tournament championship and then into the ACC as the Seminoles finished in second place in the league standings with an 11-5 record in 1992. Ward is Florida State’s all-time leader in career steals with 238 and is still ranked in the top-20 in school history with 74 career 3-point shots made. He was the first round draft choice of the New York Knicks (26th overall selection) in 1994.
Ward was inducted into the Florida State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1999.
During their three years together on the court as Seminoles, Sura and Ward led the Florida State to 60 victories and trips to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 1992 and the Elite 8 in 1993. The Seminoles were the No. 3 seed in the West Region in 1992 and the No. 3 seed in the Southeast Region in 1993.
The Seminoles advanced to the semifinals of the ACC Tournament in 1992 and defeated 12 ranked teams while to pair starred in the Seminoles backcourt. Florida State defeated a school record seven ranked teams during the magical 1993 season as it came within one victory over the school’s second appearance in the Final Four.