Best NBA players who were born in Virginia

These are the best NBA players who were born in the state of Virginia. All players who averaged 15.0 or more points per game are listed. To date, some 50 players who were born in Virginia have gone on to play in the NBA.

Virginia has been in the news recently, as a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck in the central part of the state on August 23, 2011. The quake was felt all the way from Canada to Florida, and created quite a media buzz. Most of the players on this list from Virginia also created heavy media buzz during their playing days.

The list includes one current Basketball Hall of Fame player, plus another player who will be inducted as soon as he is eligible. Half the players on this list are centers, and all three are pretty famous.

My favorite NBA team, the New Jersey Nets, drafted guard Rory Sparrow, who was born in Suffolk, Virginia, in the fourth round of the 1980 NBA Draft. Sparrow played in the NBA for 12 years, and averaged 9.0 points per game. He does not make this list, but had a great career for a fourth round pick.

1. Allen Iverson(notes) - 26.7 points per game

Allen Iverson was born in Hampton, Virginia on June 7, 1975. After averaging 23.0 points per game over two seasons at Georgetown University in 1995 and 1996, Iverson played in the NBA for 14 years. His career scoring average of 26.7 points per game is sixth best all-time.

Iverson, who stands just 6' tall, won four scoring titles in the NBA in 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2005. His career scoring average of 29.73 points per game in the playoffs is second best all-time behind Michael Jordan's 33.45.

Allen Iverson last played in the NBA during the 2009-2010 season. He played last season in Turkey, but wants to play again in the NBA, and has said he is willing to come off the bench for any team that will have him. He's now 36 years old. Whether he ever plays again in the NBA or not, Iverson is sure to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in the future.

2. Moses Malone - 20.6

Moses Malone was born in Petersburg, Virginia on March 23, 1955. After playing basketball at Petersburg High School, Moses went right into the ABA, and played in that league for two seasons, averaging 17.2 points and 12.9 rebounds per game. He then played 19 years in the NBA, and averaged 20.6 points and 12.2 rebounds per game.

Moses Malone has scored the seventh most points in NBA history with 27,409, and grabbed the fifth most rebounds with 16,212. He grabbed 37 rebounds in a game once, and 32 rebounds in another game. Malone was always known for his great offensive rebounding skills. He won a championship with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1983, and was NBA Finals MVP that year.

Malone was the MVP of the league three times, and was a 13 time all-star. Moses Malone was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001.

3. Bob Dandridge - 18.5

Bob Dandridge was born in Richmond, Virginia on November 15, 1947. After averaging 32.3 points and 17.0 rebounds per game at Norfolk State as a senior in 1969, Dandridge played in the NBA for 13 years. He averaged 18.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

Bob Dandridge was a four time all-star, and he won two NBA Championships. His first was in 1971 with the Milwaukee Bucks, and his second championship was in 1978 with the Washington Bullets.

4. Alonzo Mourning(notes) - 17.1

Alonzo Mourning was born in Chesapeake, Virginia on February 8, 1970. After averaging 16.7 points and 8.6 rebounds per game at Georgetown from 1989 to 1992, Zo played in the NBA for 15 years. He averaged 17.1 points and 8.5 points per game.

Alonzo Mourning was a seven time all-star, a two time Defensive Player of the Year and he won a championship with the Miami Heat in 2006. In 2003, my Nets signed Mourning to a contract, but he needed a kidney transplant before he ever played for us. When he finally did play for us, he was not the same player and we traded him away in 2004 for Vince Carter(notes). Zo made $144 million in salary in the NBA.

5. Jimmy Walker - 16.7

Jimmy Walker was born in Amherst, Virginia on April 8, 1944. After averaging 30.4 points per game as a senior at Providence College, Walker played nine years in the NBA, and averaged 16.7 points per game.

In an interesting bit of trivia, Jimmy Walker was drafted by the New Orleans Saints of the NFL with the 445th and last pick in the 1967 NFL Draft. Walker never played in the NFL. He passed away from lung cancer in 2007, at age 63.

6. Ralph Sampson - 15.4

Ralph Sampson was born in Harrisonburg, Virginia on July 7, 1960. After a highly scrutinized four years at the University of Virginia from 1980 to 1983, during which Sampson averaged 16.9 points and 11.4 rebounds per game, Ralph Sampson was the first overall pick in the 1983 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets.

Sampson entered the NBA with huge expectations on his shoulders. He did his best to live up to those expectations over his first three seasons, averaging 20.66 points, 10.89 rebounds and 2.03 blocks per game. But then injuries wrecked his career. For his career, Sampson played nine years in the NBA, and averaged 15.4 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.

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Updated Wednesday, Aug 24, 2011