5. Walter Berry
College: St. John’s. Averaged 23 ppg and 11.1 rpg his senior season while being named 1985-86 national player of the year, winning the John Wooden Award, AP Player of the Year, and USBWA Player of the Year.
NBA Draft: Portland Trail Blazers, 14th overall in 1986.
NBA: Played in 205 games (132 starts) in three seasons, 14.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.4 apg.
Before Paul Pierce was ‘The Truth,’ that nicknamed belonged to St. John’s power forward Walter Berry. His first season at St. John’s (his junior year after transferring from San Jacinto College) Berry complemented star Chris Mullin as St. John’s made a run to the Final Four. The next year with Mullin gone, Berry ran the show and did not disappoint. He led St. John’s to the Big East championship and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament while being named the consensus national player of the year.
Berry was selected 14th in the 1986 NBA draft by Portland, but never wanted to play there and was shipped to San Antonio after seven games. Berry was always able to score in the NBA, averaging over 17 points per game with the Spurs, but his inability to get along with coaches had him playing for four teams in three seasons and in Europe after that. Berry remained a great scorer in Europe, but continued to bounce around from team to team.