Black Greeks have dominated on the hardwood for decades (Photo Credit: Jeremy Sadoff/Charisma).
Uplift, Manhood and Perseverance on the Court: All-Time Omega Psi Phi NBA Basketball Team
Friendship is essential to the soul.
And some members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. are essential to the history of the National Basketball Association (NBA) like Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal and Earl Monroe.
Therefore, RegalMag.com would like to honor the best Ques to ever grace the hardwood in the NBA as the publication continues its series on the best basketball players from predominantly African-American fraternities.
Small Forward: Vince Carter—Half man, half amazing definitely describes Vince Carter. His performance at the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest against Steve Francis in the finals is the best ever. Michael Jordan’s 1988 performance against Dominique Wilkins in the finals is the second best. During the 2019-20 season, Carter became the only NBA player to play in four different decades. The future Hall of Famer has averages of 16.7 points per game, 4.3 rebounds per game and 3.1 assists per game in a career that lasted from 1998 to 2020.
Power Forward: Cedric Maxwell—Many people sleep on Cedric “Cornbread” Maxwell when talking about the Boston Celtics dynasty of the 1980s. But Maxwell started at power forward for two of those Celtics championship teams, not Kevin McHale. Maxwell also won 1981 NBA Finals MVP when the Celtics defeated the Houston Rockets in six games. The UNCC product, who led his college team to the Final Four, has a colorful personality, once famously mocking Lakers forward James Worthy when he “choked” at the foul line in a NBA Finals game. Before the third championship season, the Celtics traded Maxwell to the Los Angeles Clippers for Bill Walton.
Center: Shaquille O’Neal—When it comes to brute strength and force, Shaquille O’Neal might be the most dominant center in NBA history next to Wilt Chamberlain. Who can forget a young O’Neal destroying basketball goals as a young rookie with the Magic? After being snubbed for a spot on the 1992 Dream Team in favor of Christian Laettner, O’Neal won an Olympic gold medal in 1996 and four NBA championships, three with Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers and one with Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat.
Shooting Guard: Michael Jordan—This will upset a lot of youngsters not old enough to remember Michael Jordan with the Bulls. But Michael Jordan is the greatest of all time, not LeBron James. Many opponents, as indicated in the docuseries “The Last Dance,” totally feared Jordan. Before Jordan, teams built from the inside out. But Jordan dominated from the shooting guard position, winning six NBA championships, two Olympic gold medals and one NCAA championship with North Carolina.
Point Guard: Charlie Ward—In the NBA, Charlie Ward was a solid player, not a spectacular player. But as an all around athlete, spectacular definitely describes the former Heisman Trophy winner. Think about it. Ward won the Heisman as the best college football player and got drafted by the New York Knicks in the first round to play basketball. After his playing career, Ward found success in coaching basketball.
Power Forward: Corliss Williamson—Who can forget the 1994 Arkansas Razorbacks and their “40 minutes of hell” defense with Corliss Williamson, Corey Beck, Clint McDaniel and Scotty Thurman. Williamson and the Razorbacks stopped Grant Hill from winning his third NCAA championship at Duke. He then went on to average 11.1 points per game throughout his NBA career.
Power Forward/Center: John Salley—One of the best personalities to ever grace the NBA court was John “Spider” Salley. He even found success in comedy, acting and talk show hosting during and after his playing career. “Spider” Salley averaged 7 points per game and 4.5 rebounds per game during his career. He won NBA championships with three different teams, the Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers.
Shooting Guard: Earl Monroe—On any other all-fraternity team, Earl “The Pearl” Monroe would be one of the stars of stars. But even “Black Jesus” himself has to bow down to “His Airness,” Michael Jordan. Monroe averaged 18.8 points per game, 3 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game for his career. While playing for the Baltimore Bullets, Monroe brought a playground style to the NBA with his patented spin move and charisma. But when he joined the New York Knicks, the player known as a “hot dog” with the Bullets showed he could play the team game. “The Lord’s Prayer” willingly played second fiddle to Walt Frazier in the Knicks backcourt, helping the team win the 1972-73 NBA championship.
Point Guard: Tony Delk—Like Corliss Williamson, Tony Delk did not become a superstar in the NBA. But, the brother was a winner at the college level with Kentucky. With the Kentucky Wildcats, he won the 1996 NCAA championship before playing 10 NBA seasons with eight different teams. For his career, Delk averaged 9.1 points per game.
Clarence “Big House” Gaines—No, “Big House” did not coach in the NBA. However, his accomplishments at Winston-Salem State University should get all the props possible. He coached so many great pros from Earl “The Pearl” Monroe to Cleo Hill. He even coached a future loud-mouthed journalist named Stephen A. Smith, who would eventually become Gaines’ fraternity brother. Gaines and Winston-Salem State won the NCAA Division II national championship in 1967. When he retired, Gaines had won 828 games, losing 447. In 1982, Gaines became a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame.