The NCAA March Madness is set to kick off March 18th, once again the dreams of 68 teams are decided in a single elimination tournament that will determine the men’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I college basketball national champion.
Not only does the tournament determine which collegiate program is the best in the country, March Madness also showcases some of the potential future stars of the NBA, who will most likely be drafted into the league within the next few years.
Many great NBA players have showcased their skills on NCAA courts, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are just some of the many greats to not only compete but win the NCAA crown and go on to win the NBA championship. Here are 25 players to win both NCAA and NBA titles!
25. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
The legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was already a beast on the NCAA courts, winning three-straight NCAA titles with UCLA from 1967-1969. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar would later go on to win six NBA titles, five with the Los Angeles Lakers and one with the Milwaukee Bucks.
24. Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis would win an NCAA crown with the Kentucky Wildcats in 2012 and in 2020 Davis won his only NBA title with the Los Angeles Lakers. Davis was a monster in college basketball, being named the NCAA blocks leader in 2012.
23. Frank Ramsey
“The Kentucky Colonel” as he was known, Frank Ramsey, led the Kentucky Wildcats to the 1951 NCAA title, then after being drafted into the NBA Ramsey was able to win seven NBA championships with the Boston Celtics.
22. K.C. Jones
The great K.C. Jones won back-to-back NCAA titles with the University of San Francisco and would go on to win eight NBA titles with the Boston Celtics. Then to top it all off K.C. Jones won four NBA championships as a coach! All bling Mr. Jones!
21. Bill Russell
A teammate of K.C. Jones and one of the all-time best, Bill Russell won back-to-back NCAA titles in 1955 and 1956. When Russell went to the NBA and joined the Celtics, he won an incredible NBA record of 11 titles! And then just for kicks, two more as a coach!
20. Isiah Thomas
Isiah Thomas might spark debates about his personality at times, but there is no question that he was one of the all-time greats. As a member of the Indiana Hoosiers, Thomas won the 1981 NCAA crown. Later in the NBA Thomas would win two NBA titles in 1989 and 1990.
19. Lucius Allen
Lucius Allen would win two NCAA titles for UCLA and later in the NBA he would help the Milwaukee Bucks capture the 1971 NBA championship. Allen’s NBA career was nothing like his NCAA career, but titles are titles.
18. Henry Bibby
Henry Bibby was also a member of UCLA and won three straight NCAA titles for the Bruins from 1970-1972. Later in the NBA Bibby played for the New York Knicks and won the NBA title in his rookie season.
17. Billy Thompson
Billy Thompson won the 1986 NCAA championship with the Louisville Cardinals, and later he would end up with the Los Angeles Lakers and Thompson would win two back-to-back NBA championships in L.A. Not a bad way to start your NBA career!
16. Jamaal Wilkes
Jamaal Wilkes won two National championships with UCLA in 1972 and 1973. When Wilkes played in the NBA, he would go on to win the 1975 title with the Golden State Warriors, and later he would win three titles with the Lakers.
15. Corey Brewer
Corey Brewer won two NCAA championships with the Florida Gators in 2006 and 2007. Brewer had an amazing college career as he was an All American in 2004. In the NBA Brewer played for 8 teams and won 1 NBA title with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011.
14. Marreese Speights
Marreese Speights won the 2007 NCAA title with the Florida Gators and would go on to play in the NBA and win a title with the Golden State Warriors in 2015 as a bit player and bench option for Golden State.
13. Danny Green
Danny Green won the NCAA title in 2009 as a member of UNC, as a pro, Green didn’t stop winning as he has won three NBA titles, in 2014, 2019, and 2020. Those three titles were won with three teams, the Spurs, Raptors, and Lakers.
12. Mario Chalmers
Mario Chalmers was a clutch player in college, winning the NCAA title in 2008 with Kansas University. When he moved to the NBA Chalmers won two NBA titles back-to-back with the Miami Heat, and he is still playing today in Greece for Aris Thessaloniki.
11. John Havlicek
The Ohio State Buckeyes alum John Havlicek won his only NCAA championship in 1960 before moving on to the Boston Celtics in the NBA. In the NBA Havlicek won 8 titles with the Celtics during his career.
10. James Worthy
James Worthy was an exceptional player in College, he was one of the centerpieces of the 1982 North Carolina NCAA Championship. Once he went to the NBA, Worthy was able to win three championships with the Los Angeles Lakers.
9. Glen Rice
Glen Rice is yet another champion Laker on the list, before his lone title in the NBA in 2000, Rice was a part of the Michigan team that won the 1989 NCAA championship. During the 89 tournament Rice scored a record 184 points.
8. Jason Terry
Jason Terry was instrumental in the 1997 NCAA title for Arizona averaging 10.6 points for the Wildcats. Then Terry went pro and won his only NBA title with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011. Terry was a bench option on that championship squad, today he is an Arizona Wildcats assistant coach.
7. Gail Goodrich
Gail Goodrich was a two-time NCAA champion with UCLA, he won the 1964 and 1965 tournaments before going pro. In the NBA Goodrich was a part of the 1972 Lakers squad which won the NBA title that season.
6. Richard Hamilton
“Rip” as he is known as, Richard Hamilton won the NCAA title with UConn in 1999, claiming the title over an almost unbeatable Duke team. Then in the NBA Hamilton played for the Detroit Pistons that would make an improbable run to the 2004 NBA crown.
5. Bill Walton
Bill Walton is considered by many to be the greatest college player in history. Winner of three-straight College Player of the Year awards, Walton won two NCAA titles with UCLA. When Walton went pro, he added two NBA titles to his collection with two teams, the Portland Trailblazers and the Boston Celtics.
4. Antoine Walker
Antoine Walker won his lone NCAA title in 1996 as a freshman for Kentucky. Later in the NBA Walker won an NBA title in 2006 with the Miami Heat. At the height of his career Walker was a three-time All-Star in the NBA.
3. Shane Battier
Shane Battier led Duke to the 2001 NCAA title, he was considered the main defensive piece of Coach K’s team. Later in the NBA Battier won two titles with the Miami Heat, in the NBA Battier was a two-time All-Defensive Second Team on two occasions.
2. Magic Johnson
Before being a human highlight reel in Los Angeles, Magic Johnson earned his stripes as a member of Michigan State. Magic won the 1979 NCAA title against Larry Bird and his Indiana State team. In the NBA Magic Johnson was pure magic, he won 5 NBA titles and was one of the most fantastic basketball players ever.
1. Michael Jordan
Be like Mike, even in the NCAA, the future greatest basketball player of all-time was just an amazing kid who played for North Carolina. Jordan made the game winning shot, even back then MJ knew how to pick his moments and won the 1982 NCAA title. In the NBA Jordan won six NBA titles to go along with elevating the game to worldwide heights and becoming the most famous athlete of his generation. Michael Jordan is simply the face of Basketball the world over.