Amazing athletes are produced yearly by universities, with players pushing themselves to make it to the big stage and make a mark on history.
The University of South Carolina has produced several pro-athlete greats since it’s establishment in 1805.
In just the last decade, the Gamecocks have produced phenomenal football players like Jadeveon Clowney, Stephon Gilmore, Alshon Jeffery and Melvin Ingram.
Gamecock alum Sterling Sharpe was a five time pro-bowler, a two time receiving touchdown leader and is in the Packers Hall of Fame.
Jackie Bradley Jr., Mookie Wilson and Steve Pearce (2018 World Series MVP) are all products of the University of South Carolina and are all World Series Champions in the MLB.
With so many schools, including the likes of South Carolina, producing amazing athletes throughout all sports, the question of ‘who is the greatest product’ of Gamecock athletics is raised.
From 1972 to 1976, the University of South Carolina was graced to have NBA legend Alex English wear the garnet and black.
English scored nearly 2,000 points throughout his Gamecock career, averaging about 18 points per game, 10 rebounds and a shooting a stellar 58% from the floor.
English’s college accolades are impressive, but not nearly as impressive as his impact in the NBA.
English had a lackluster start, being underutilized in Milwaukee and Indiana.
However, after being traded to the Denver Nuggets, his career began to explode. In the final 24 games of that season he averaged 21 points a game.
English was the answer to Denver’s offensive struggles, making their future bright.
In his ten seasons in Denver, English became an eight time all star and became a great mid-range scorer.
NBA.com claims “Alex English was the NBA’s most prolific scorer during the 1980s”.
He was so explosive on the offensive side of the ball that he was one of the greatest players in a decade with other legends such as Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas and even Julius Erving.
Alex English played in the NBA in a time where the athletes were absolutely phenomenal and dominate.
Despite playing in, dare I say, one of the most competitive times in the NBA, he still managed to become 1983 scoring champion, a three-time NBA second team member, and even became the first ever player to have eight 2,000 point seasons in a row.
ESPN ranked English at 63rd on the all-time top 100 players list. This in itself is a fairly impressive feat as there have been so many NBA legends to hit the court.
Aside from just in the NBA, English become a huge impact on Denver Nuggets basketball and their culture.
English is still the franchise leader in points, games played, minutes played, field goals made, and assists. To be the leader in so many categories for a franchise that has been a team for 30+ years is astonishing and Denver rightfully retired his jersey number after his retirement.
Alex English is the greatest Denver Nugget in franchise history and has been since his tenure there.
Alex English is No. 19 in all time scoring in the NBA (recently passed by Carmelo Anthony), but even more impressively was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1997, first ballot.
Alex English is the single greatest athlete produced from The University of South Carolina.
His accolades and contribution to the sport continues to honor his name.
There is no doubt that the greatest product of Gamecock athletics is NBA legend Alex English and a reminder of his amazing career felt long overdue.