Sports

St. John’s Basketball All-Time Starting 5’s

Normally the July 4 double issue of The Tablet is a time to recognize the baseball and softball All-Stars from our diocesan high schools. But since there were no spring sports this season, let’s take another walk down memory lane to celebrate the rich sports history of Brooklyn and Queens.

It’s no secret that basketball is our main sport in the diocese. We proudly support the hoops teams at three local Catholic colleges, so over the next few weeks, we’ll take a look at the all-time starting fives on the men’s and women’s side for each school, starting with St. John’s University, Jamaica.

Steeped in basketball tradition, St. John’s is New York’s team. From the excitement of Big East play in Madison Square Garden to the memories created by the legendary coach Lou Carnesecca, the Johnnies have consistently turned in competitive squads for both the men and women.

MEN

Chris Mullin (Photo: Courtesy of St. John’s University Athletic Communications)

>> Chris Mullin     

  • All-time leading scorer in program history with 2,440 points (19.5 points per game)
  • One of four players in school history to score 1,000 points within first two seasons
  • First player in school history to score 2,000 points
  • Numerous awards included Big East Player of the Year, All-Big East First Team, Haggerty Award, John R. Wooden Award, First-Team All-American
  • Helped lead St. John’s to the NCAA Tournament Final Four as a senior (1985-86)

>> Mark Jackson

  • Scored 1,328 points (10.1 points per game)
  • All-time leader in assists in program history with 738
  • Set then-NCAA record with 328 assists as a junior
  • Highest 3-pointer percentage in program history at .430
  • Program leader in games played with 131
  • Sixth man on St. John’s NCAA Tournament Final Four team (1985-86)

>> Walter Berry

  • Scored 1,419 points (20.1 points per game)
  • Holds single-season record for most points scored with 828 (1985-86)
  • Highest field-goal percentage in program history at .581
  • Helped lead team to NCAA Tournament Final Four as a junior (1985-86)
  • Won John R. Wooden Award and named a First-Team All-American as a senior

>> Lloyd “Sonny” Dove

  • Scored 1,576 points (19.0 points per game)
  • Second in program history with 1,036 rebounds
  • Became the first player in program history to grab 1,000 rebounds
  • Earned First-Team All-American and All- Metropolitan honors
  • Won the Haggerty Award as a senior

>> George Johnson

  • Scored 1,763 points (15.1 points per game)
  • First in program history with 1,240 rebounds
  • Ranks third in program history with 744 made field goals

Honorable Mention: Malik Sealy

  • Scored 2,401 points (18.9 points per game). One of three players in school history to score more than 2,000 points

WOMEN

>> Aaliyah Handford

Aaliyah Handford (Photo: Courtesy of St. John’s University Athletic Communications)
  • Program leader with 2,058 points (15.6 points per game)
  • Second in program history with 271 career steals
  • Third in program history with 132 games played
  • Honors include WBCA All-American, Big East Defensive Player of the Year (2015- 16), three-time Big East All-First Team and Big East Tournament Most Outstanding Player (2016)

>> Shenneika Smith

  • Fifth in program history with 1,727 career points (13.5 points per game)
  • Fifth in program history with 783 career rebounds
  • Fourth in program history with 154 career blocks
  • Named a WBCA All-American, two-time member of the Big East All-First Team and All-Met MWBA Player of the Year (2011-12)

>> Debbie Beckford

  • Third in program history with 1,753 career points (13.7 points per game)
  • Holds single-season points record with 705 (1982-83)
  • Fourth in program history with 255 career steals
  • Holds single-season blocks record with 96 (1981-82)
  • Big East Player of the Year and selected to Big East All-First Team (1982-83)

>> Cozette Ballentine

  • Fourth in program history with 1,739 career points (15.4 points per game)
  • Third in program history with 840 rebounds
  • Holds highest single-season scoring average at 22.4 points per game (1990-91)
  • Holds highest single-game scoring record with 42 points (Feb. 13, 1991)
  • Selected Big East All-First Team

>> Ling-Ling Hou

  • Second in program history with 1,950 career points (15.5 points per game)
  • Holds record for most made field goals in a career with 882

Honorable Mention: Nadirah McKenith

  • Program leader in assists with 605. Third in program history with 267 career steals. Honors include WBCA All-American, Big East All-First Team and All-Met MWBA Player of the Year (2012-13)

Contact Jim Mancari via email at jmmanc@gmail.com.

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