LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 14: Travis Wear #24 of the UCLA Bruins and Demondre Chapman #32 of the Prairie View A&M Panthers jump for the opening tipoff at Pauley Pavilion on December 14, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

If there is one program that can truly call itself the king of college basketball, it’s the UCLA Bruins. Led by John Wooden, UCLA became college basketball’s most impressive dynasty and they’ve found plenty of success in the years since as well. They’ve won 11 national championships and produced numerous All-Americans, many of whom are in the College Basketball Hall of Fame.

Let’s pay tribute to the players of the past and present who made the UCLA Bruins the kings of college basketball. Here is our list of the 10 best UCLA Bruins college basketball players of all time.

10. Walt Hazzard, point guard

Walt Hazzard played a very important part in the Bruins’ history. A player for UCLA’s first national championship under John Wooden in 1964, he averaged 18.6 points during that historic 1963-64 season and he was named Final Four Most Outstanding Player. During his three-season playing career at UCLA, Hazzard averaged 16.1 points and 5.5 rebounds. He also went on to coach UCLA in the 1980s and was Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 1987.

9. Pooh Richardson, point guard

Pooh Richardson played a huge part in helping those Bruin teams of the 1980s. It wasn’t exactly a dominant time for the program, but they still managed to produce great players like Richardson. He remains the school’s all-time leader in assists with 833 and is responsible for three of the top seven assist totals per season in school history. Richardson was also the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year in 1986 and a three-time first-team all-conference selection.

8. Reggie Miller, point guard

Before Reggie Miller became an NBA star and world-class trash talker with the Indiana Pacers, he was a star with the Bruins. Miller was a third-time All-American, named twice to the All-Pac 10 team, and was also named NIT MVP. Miller still holds the UCLA single-season records for most conference points, highest conference scoring average, and most free throws made. He averaged 25.9 points as a junior and 22.3 during his senior season. Miller was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team.

7. Gail Goodrich, shooting guard

Gail Goodrich didn’t want to attend UCLA. He wanted to play for the USC Trojans, but Wooden talked him into attending school in Westwood. It was a good call. Goodrich finished as the school’s all-time leading scorer and played on the school’s first two national championship teams in 1964 and 1965. He was a two-time All-American and the Helms Foundation’s Co-Player of the Year along with Princeton’s Bill Bradley in 1965. Goodrich was also part of that Bruins team that went undefeated in the 1963-64 season. As a senior, Goodrich averaged nearly 25 points per game. He is a member of the College Basketball Hall of Fame and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

6. Don Barksdale, power forward

While most college basketball programs in the 1940s still hadn’t been integrated, UCLA was already making history with its first African-American All-American. Don Barksdale came to UCLA out of junior college and was then called up by the Army during World War II. After the war, Barksdale returned to campus where he became the school’s first black All-American in 1947, as well as being named All-Pacific Coast Conference that same season. Barksdale also was the first African-American player to play against the Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington and later became friends with legendary head coach Adolf Rupp during the Olympics. Barksdale is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and was the first Black player to play in the NBA All-Star Game in 1953.

5. Jamaal Wikes, small forward

When asked to describe the perfect basketball player, UCLA head coach John Wooden said “I would have the player be a good student, polite, courteous, a good team player, a good defensive player, and rebounder, a good inside player and outside shooter.” He was describing Jamaal Wilkes. At the time of the interview in 1985, Wilkes was being inducted into the Pac-10 Men’s Basketball of Fame. Wilkes is a two-time NCAA Champion and All-American. During his time with the team, Wilkes averaged 15.0 ppg and 7.4 rpg while shooting 51.4 percent from the field. He later became a star with the Los Angeles Lakers and is a member of the College Basketball Hall of Fame and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

4. Marques Johnson, small forward

While most of the names on this list are well-known, Marques Johnson might not be as well-remembered. Johnson was a two-time All-American, Pac-8 Player of the Year, National Player of the Year in 1977, and a part of John Wooden’s last national championship squad. Johnson averaged a double-double in his senior season, averaging 21 points and 11 rebounds per game. He was also the first winner of the John Wooden Award and is a member of the College Basketball Hall of Fame.

3. Ed O’Bannon, forward

On the court, Ed O’Bannon played a huge role in UCLA history. Off the court, he helped change college basketball history. O’Bannon led the UCLA Bruins to their most recent national championship in 1995 while on his way to being named National Player of the Year. He was a two-time All-American, Pac-10 Player of the Year, and three-time member of the All-PAC 10 first team. During that national championship run in 1995, O’Bannon averaged 20 points a game and eight rebounds. These days, O’Bannon is best known for being one of the first players in NCAA history to fight for his name, image, and likeness rights, helping usher in the NIL era.

2. Bill Walton, center

Bill Walton was one of the most dominant players in NCAA history. Not only a two-time national champion with the Bruins, but Walton was a three-time National Player of the Year, three-time All-American, and two-time Final Four Most Outstanding Player. In his career with the Bruins, Walton shot 65.1 percent from the field and averaged 20.3 points, 15.7 rebounds, and 5.5 assists. Walton admitted that during his playing time at UCLA, he gave head coach John Wooden a hard time. Despite that, they remained friends until the coach’s death. Now an iconic broadcaster, Walton is a member of the College Basketball Hall of Fame and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

1. Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar}

Before he became captain of the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1980s, Lew Alcindor (who changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), was the captain of the UCLA Bruins during their heyday. He was a three-time national champion, three-time National Player of the Year, three-time All-American, three-time Final Four Most Outstanding Player, and his number 33 has been retired by the school. When he left the school, he held eight school records including the highest career scoring average (26.4), most points in a season (870), most free throw attempts in a season (274), and most points in a single game (61). The man who would later become an NBA legend is now a member of the College Basketball Hall of Fame and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

About Stacey Mickles

Stacey is a 1995 graduate of the University of Alabama who has previously worked for other publications such as Sportskeeda and Saturday Down South.