The league is now officially called the Nike Pro City League, but I am going to use the Kenner League name when picking my personal all-time team. I have actually attended games every year since the Kenner League started in McDonough gymnasium. Some years I have been able to attend more games than in other years. Please take note that these are my own picks for an all-time team. I am making these choices based on their performance for an entire summer, and these are only players I have seen play in the summer league in person. To be fair there are a few players I have not seen--a very small number. Anyway, here are my picks for the greatest players in the history of the Kenner League:
Center--Patrick Ewing: The greatest player in Georgetown Basketball history. There was never anyone in his league to face him in the Kenner League. He truly controlled the air above the rim, and after his freshman year dominated the Kenner League.
Forward--Dikembe Mutombo--I know he always played center but I am calling the shots with these selections! Actually, he was listed as a 5 ft. 9 inch point guard in the program much to the confusion of the many Syracuse and UCONN spies in McDonough gymnasium. In Jim Calhoun's earlier years he had many of his assistant coaches in the stands. Dikembe was perhaps the most improved player I have ever seen in the Kenner League as he began the summer as a very clumsy player, and then became a shot-blocking, dunking machine. If they ever kept official stats Dikembe probably had more dunks in single games than anyone. Oh did I love his enthusiasm.
Forward--Michael Graham: The man who helped bring the 1984 NCAA Championship to the Hilltop. He was the most ferocious power forward to play in the Kenner League. When you consider John Turner--Mr. Highlights and others this is saying quite a bit. To see him as an incoming freshmen play against dozens of All-ACC power forwards and make them look like timid school children was truly inspiring. If you saw these performances you would not be surprised that he single-handedly intimidated Kentucky and their twin towers in the NCAA Final Four. As ESPN has said, he was truly the baddest, baldest dude to ever play in the Kenner League.
Guard--Reggie Williams. Yes Reggie "Russ" Williams was the top rated high school player in the nation, and his much anticipated play in the Kenner League was not disappointing. Since his play on the Baltimore Dunbar Poets he had been heralded as the second-coming of George Gervin. His Baltimore Dunbar HS team with fellow Hoya David Wingate, and several future NBA stars was arguably the greatest high school team ever assembled. What impressed me more than anything was at 6' 8" he could handle the ball like a point guard and his height and passing ability opened the court up as nobody else could. The Tombs with future Hoyas teammates Pat Ewing and freshman to be Michael Graham was the best team I have ever seen in the Kenner League hands down!
Guard--Allen Iverson. Allen "The Answer--Bubbachuck" Iverson was truly the most exciting performer in the history of the Kenner League. McDonough was abuzz with excitement like I have never seen before, and probably never will. When he debuted he had not been seen on the basketball court for some time, and there were only rumors that he would attend Georgetown. The gym at that time could accomodate closer to 4000 people and they were packed in everywhere. For the playoffs fans were getting to their seats 2 hours early to get seats. Allen Iverson put on some of the greatest offensive outbursts I have ever seen. He would often start drilling four or 5 3-pointers in a row and then alley-oop dunking over 7 foot All-Americans like they were kindergarteners! If you saw these performances you would not be surprised that he was the only person to ever posterize the great Michael Jordan on ESPN video for the ages. Yes, his double cross-over and jump shot against the greatest basketball player ever is something for the ages. If you had the opportunity to see Allen Iverson in the Kenner League you truly saw some of the greatest playground performances in history.
Enjoy the Nike Pro City League Playoff this weekend. I hope to see many of you in the stands.
Dr. Thomas A. Wong
Hoya Hoop Club Vice-President and Director of Communications
Proud Member of Generation Ewing