Top 7 College Stars Who Became NBA Stars

You’d think that college basketball stars easily turn into NBA heroes, but in reality, many end up losing steam. The stars we know and love today might have been top of the NCAAB picks, but they weren’t necessarily in the top spot.

Instead, our main favorites often found their footing in the NBA and grew from the talent around them.

Today we will look at previous FanDuel NCAAB data to figure out who was great in both college and the NBA.

Tim Duncan

Duncan went to Wake Forest college and during this time there he received the nickname “The Big Fundamental”. He did such an amazing job, many scouts wondered why he didn’t move on to the NBA earlier. Duncan was waiting for the best opportunity to get him high on the drafts.

Duncan won the NBA Championship 5 times,earned the Finals MVP 3 times, and the general MVP twice.

Kevin Durant

Durant went to Texas College. He only attended for one year before swapping to the NBA. Although his time was short, there’s a reason why he was snapped up so quickly. Durant was considered the most prolific offensive player Dick Vitale had ever seen. 

He earned that title after picking a lesser-known university. Durant wanted to set his own path and prove himself even in the most unlikely of situations.

As a freshman, he led the Big 12, impressing everyone in his wake.

In the NBA, Durant became an NBA Champion twice, both times winning the MVP award, and he was named the USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year 3 times.

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Carmelo Anthony

Anthony went to Syracuse college. Again, he only stayed there for a year before reaching the NBA. In that year, Anthony played an average of 22.2 points per game. He also collected 10 rebounds per game and 45.3% field goals.

Anthony changed the expectation levels for everyone that year.

Although Anthony hasn’t become an NBA champion yet, he has earned the title of scoring champion. He was picked 3rd overall. But that wasn’t the only great outcome from the rookie. Anthony made it to the All-Rookie First Team. Since then Anthony won the Final Four Most Outstanding Player award and has played in the NBA all-star games 9 times.

Stephen Curry

In his second college basketball game, Stephen Curry scored 32 points. That moment showed everyone Curry’s future. He went to Davidson College and put the school on the map.

During his time with the university, Curry broke NCAA records multiple times – three of which he broke in the first year.

Since joining the Golden State Warriors as the 7th pick overall, Curry won the NBA Championships 4 times. In the most recent, he was also named the NBA Finals MVP.

Every year Curry has achieved at least one great moment to be proud of.

Dwyane Wade

Wade went to Marquette college and started the season with a 17.8-point average. When Wade joined the team the Marquettes finally had someone to take down the Kentucky Wildcats. 

They didn’t just knock the team off their top spot, Wade destroyed them. Wade created a triple-double (11 assists, 11 rebounds, 29 points) and helped the team reach their first Final Four in 30 years.

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In the NBA, Wade became a champion 3 times and won the Finals MVP in 2006. He was also named the scoring champion in 2009 and has played in almost every NBA All-Stars event.

James Harden

In Harden’s freshman year, he was put forward for the All-Pac-10 first team. This is a feat very few have achieved. He dominated the court with a 52.7% field goal percentage. This was just a snippet of Harden’s ability.

He made his Arizona team proud, and they loved him so much that the No 13 Jersey was retired in his name.

During his NBA career, Harden hasn’t reached the championships yet, however, he has been part of the NBA All-Star team 10 times. He has been dubbed the Assists Leader in 2017, the Scoring Champion in both 2018 and 2020, and the 6th Man of the Year in 2012.

Chris Paul

Paul went to Wake Forest College, but after just two seasons in his high school, Paul was already considered a McDonald’s All-American.

He played for this college for 2 seasons, and then swiftly moved to the NBA.

His time with the team was short, but as college player Paul earned the USA Basketball Male Athlete of the year award and the North Carolina Mr. Basketball award. Wake Forest retired his number 3 jersey as they waved goodbye to a legend.

In the NBA, Paul became an NBA All-Star 12 times, and although he hasn’t become a champion yet, he still has time.

Final Thoughts

All of these players were stars in their college careers and legends in the NBA. Most are still playing today and even made it to the Olympic games.

Even though some haven’t reached the championships yet, they all bring power and speed to their teams – creating spectacular games for us to watch.

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