Nov. 22, 2005
QUEENS, N.Y. - St. John's University will celebrate the outstanding contributions of 10 individuals to its men's basketball program by conferring 'Basketball Legacy Honors' upon them and hanging permanent banners in Carnesecca Arena to commemorate their tremendous athletic achievements.
St. John's will welcome those distinguished players and coaches to the Queens Campus for the Basketball Legacy Honors ceremony on Friday, Jan. 20, 2006. The recipients of the prestigious accolades will also be recognized during halftime of the St. John's vs. Pittsburgh men's basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 21 at Madison Square Garden.
A committee of key St. John's administrators, coaches and members of the men's basketball family was formed to determine the criteria for the Legacy Honors recipients, and the list of legends to receive such honors was unanimously agreed upon at the end of the summer. The honorees include 10 authors of the most remarkable careers in the long and storied history of St. John's basketball. The selection enshrines each honoree's achievements in the rafters of Carnesecca Arena.
The criteria decided upon for Basketball Legacy Honors extends far beyond wins and losses, or points and rebounds. The committee took several additional aspects into account, including athletic achievement, citizenship, character, team success and national awards to go along with individual statistics.
While the initial list of 10 will be recognized this year, St. John's plans to continue the Basketball Legacy Honors program in the future.
The St. John's Basketball Legacy Honorees are listed below alphabetically.
Walter "The Truth" Berry played just two seasons at St. John's but his impact was incredible. Berry was the 1986 BIG EAST Player of the Year and John R. Wooden Award winner, citing him the National Player of the Year for 1986. He totaled 1,424 career points in just two seasons, and was a key member of St. John's 1985 NCAA Final Four team and 1986 BIG EAST Tournament championship squad.
More than a coach but an icon, Lou Carnesecca is St. John's all-time winningest mentor with a career record of 526-200 and an author of 18 20-win seasons. A St. John's alumnus, Carnesecca directed his alma mater's basketball program to five Postseason NIT Championships and 18 NCAA Tournament berths, including the 1985 Final Four. Carnesecca was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.
Lloyd "Sonny" Dove
One of only two players in St. John's history with more than 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds, Lloyd "Sonny" Dove starred in the late `60s under Joe Lapchick and then Lou Carnesecca. Dove currently ranks 10th all-time in St. John's history with 1,576 career points and second all-time with 1,036 boards.
St. John's all-time leader in assists with 738, Mark "Action" Jackson was the floor general for the great mid-1980s teams under Lou Carnesecca. Jackson's honors ran the gamut of his collegiate career, going from the BIG EAST All-Rookie team as a freshman in 1984 to an honorable mention All-American and the conference's Defensive Player of the Year as a senior in 1987.
Arguably the most talented player in St. John's basketball history, Tony Jackson, a two-time consensus All-American, is currently listed ninth among St. John's all-time scoring leaders with 1,603 points. He is also third on the all-time rebounding list with 991 career boards. Jackson was named the MVP of both the ECAC Holiday Festival and the Postseason NIT during his first season on the varsity team, 1958-59.
A legend first as a player and then as a coach, Joe Lapchick's contributions to New York basketball are many. His overall record in two stints on the St. John's sidelines was 334-130, and he directed his teams to 12 Postseason NIT appearances and an unprecedented four NIT championships. He was a 1966 inductee into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, and a unanimous selection in the inaugural class of St. John's Athletic Hall of Fame.
A standout during the 1940s and a member of the 1944 NIT Championship team, Dick McGuire will always be remembered for his playmaking abilities, court sense and ball-handling skills. McGuire was a two-time Haggerty Award winner, before and after serving in the military, signifying his presence as New York City's most outstanding collegiate player. McGuire was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.
The school's all-time scoring leader with 2,440 career points, Chris Mullin is deservedly the most honored player to ever take the court at St. John's. The accolades for the Brooklyn-born Mullin, including his 1985 John R. Wooden Award naming him the national player of the year, and his BIG EAST Player of the Year citation in 1985, place him among the elite in college basketball history. Mullin led St. John's to four NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 1985 Final Four and a No. 1 national team ranking.
Only the second player in school history to net more than 2,000 career points, Malik Sealy totaled 2,402 and ranks second all-time. A 1992 consensus All-American, Sealy-led teams captured the 1989 NIT Championship and made three NCAA Tournament appearances under Lou Carnesecca. Sealy's name can be found many places in the St. John's record book, including at the top of the career field goals (900) and career steals (238) charts.
A consensus All-American in 1959, Alan Seiden was a team captain and key member of the squad that brought home the NIT Championship. Oftentimes mentioned with his backcourt-mate Gus Alfieri, Seiden provided a solid scoring punch and averaged more than 20 points per game in two different seasons. He totaled 1,374 points for his career.
Basketball Legacy Honors Committee
Lou Carnesecca, St. John's Head Coach, 22 Seasons
Mel Davis, St. John's Basketball, 1970-72
George Johnson, St. John's Basketball, 1974-78
Jack Kaiser, Director of Athletics 1973-95, Athletic Director Emeritus
Andrew "Fuzzy" Levane, St. John's Basketball, 1940-43
Brian Mahoney, St. John's Head and Assistant Coach, 20 Seasons
Brenda Majeski, Vice President, University Marketing and Communications
Dick McGuire, St. John's Basketball, 1943-49
Chris Monasch, Director of Athletics
Jim O'Connell, Associated Press
Norm Roberts, St. John's Head Coach
Ron Rutledge, St. John's Assistant Coach, 17 Seasons
John Warren, St. John's Basketball, 1966-69
Bill Wennington, St. John's Basketball, 1981-85