The city of Brotherly Love is known for it's collegiate basketball tradition around the nation. The Big 5, made up of St. Joseph's University, Villanova University, University of Pennsylvania, La Salle University and of course, your very own Temple University.
The Temple Owls have produced some talent that made their livelihood in the National Basketball Association. Some of which have donned the uniform of their hometown Philadelphia 76ers. Here is a countdown of the top five players to ever play both in the NBA and for Temple University.
Shooting Guard- 6’6” 200 lb
Eddie Jones is by far the most talented basketball player to come out of Temple throughout basketball’s modern era. Not only was Jones named A-10 player of the year after the 1993-94 season, the 10th overall pick was also a three time NBA All-Star, twice with the Los Angeles Lakers and once with the Charlotte Hornets. The former Temple shooting guard also led the NBA in steals during his only season with the Hornets. During his 14-year career in the NBA, Jones would play in 954 games. This would not only give him the most career NBA games out of any former Owl, but he would also play the most career NBA minutes and score the most points per game out of any former Temple star.
Point Guard- 6’0 185 lb
Coming in a very close second, Guy William Rodgers paved the way for players like Magic Johnson and John Stockton. Rodgers spent 12 seasons in the NBA, playing for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, Chicago Bulls, Cincinnati Royals, and the Milwaukee Bucks. He was a 4-time all-star and is considered by many to be one of the leagues best playmakers in the early to mid-1960s. He would lead the league in assists twice and still holds the Chicago Bulls franchise record for most assists with 908. Rodgers was no slouch as an Owl either, winning the Robert V. Gaesey Trophy every year at Temple for being the best player in Philadelphia’s Big 5.
Shooting/Point Guard, Small Forward- 6’5” 209 lb
Aaron Mckie spent most of his basketball career playing in Philadelphia. Mckie excelled at Simon Gratz High School and was awarded with the 1993 Atlantic 10 player of the year honors as a junior at Temple. The Portland Trailblazers selected him as a 17th overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft and Mckie would later play for the Detroit Pistons, Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers. It was with the 76ers that Mckie would truly shine as he was named the NBA Sixth Man of the Year in 2001 and was integral in the Sixers run to the NBA Finals during that same year. Mckie averaged 7.4 points per game and played in 793 games through his 15 seasons in the NBA. He would later rejoin the Sixers organization as an assistant coach from 2007-2013.
Center- 6’10” 270 lb
After being named Atlantic 10 Conference player of the year, Jackson was drafted in the second round (37th overall) by the Golden State Warriors in the 1997 NBA Draft; however, he would spend three seasons playing ball overseas and would not officially join Warriors organization until 2000. After the 2000-2001 season, Jackson was named to the NBA All-Rookie team alongside other future NBA veterans such as Mike Miller and Kenyon Martin. Jackson would bounce around the NBA quite a bit after his fantastic NBA debut, playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, and the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Thunder. He would then finish his career out just as it had started, overseas. Jackson averaged 8.4 points per game while in the NBA.
Small Forward- 6’6” 200 lb
Ollie Johnson was selected as the 30th overall pick by the Portland Trailblazers in the second round of the 1972 NBA Draft. Johnson made his presence known early with an impressive 20-point performance with Portland. He went on to play 690 NBA games throughout ten seasons with teams such as the New Orleans Jazz, Kansas City Kings, Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls and you guessed it, the Philadelphia 76ers. He averaged 7.7 points per game during these ten seasons as well. Johnson finished his basketball career overseas in Australia and Belgium. He would later become the Director of Athletics at the Community College of Philadelphia.
Honorable Mention: Duane Causwell
Center- 7’0 240 lb
Duane Causwell was yet another NBA bust from Temple University. Causwell was chosen as the 18th overall pick in the 1990 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings (mainly due to his size and perceived presence in the paint). His 7-foot stature did not seem to give him much of a scoring advantage, considering he only averaged 4.9 points per game. Don’t let this fool you however, as Causwell was able to last in the NBA for 11 seasons, playing in 541 career games.
Honorable Mention: Tim Perry
Power Forward- 6’9” 200 lb
Tim Perry ranks 25th in NCAA Division I men’s basketball career block leaders, which allowed for him to be selected as the seventh overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. Although he did not live up to the hype, Perry lasted for eight NBA seasons where he averaged 6.8 points per game and 4 rebounds per game. He also appeared in NBA Slam Dunk Contests in 1989, 1993 and 1995. Perry would finish 5th, 7th and 5th in these contests, respectively. After finishing his career out overseas, Perry would return to basketball as an assistant coach at Pennsylvania’s Holy Family University.