The 10 Greatest UCLA Basketball Players of All-Time

Written By


lew alcindor

There may not be a college basketball program as storied as UCLA. The Bruins have won 11 championships, the most in the nation. And while the program hasn’t hung a championship banner since the 1995 season, there have been many outstanding players who have passed through the program’s history. 

And that’s what makes consolidating so much history so difficult. But without further ado, here are the 10 greatest players in UCLA’s storied history. 

RELATED: Best LA Lakers ever | Best Dodgers

Honorable mention: Pooh Richardson (1986-89) 

Nicknamed after fable character Winnie the Pooh, Richardson sure knew how to dish out the honey to his teammates. Richardson is the program’s all-time leader in assists by a massive margin. He was also slick on the defensive end, ranking fifth all-time in steals in program history. 

10. Keith Wilkes (1972-74) 

Wilkes was a key component of three Final Four and two national title teams. He was the perfect complementary scorer behind the legendary Bill Walton, and he made more than 50% of his shots during his collegiate career. He was a consensus All-American in 1973 and 1974 and his jersey number hangs from the rafters of Pauley Pavilion. 

9. Reggie Miller (1984-87) 

You could tell Miller was going to be a special player right away. He finished his Bruins career as the program’s third-leading scorer. It’s fair to wonder what could’ve been for Miller had he played his entire career with the 3-point line. Instead, he only played one and shot greater than 41% from deep. The Bruins only made one NCAA Tournament appearance during Miller’s career. 

8. Ed O’Bannon (1992-95) 

O’Bannon led UCLA to its last national title in 1995 and finished ranks seventh all-time in scoring. He also won the Oscar Robertson Trophy in ’95, further cementing his legacy as one of the greatest players on one of the program’s last great teams.  

7. Marques Johnson (1973-77) 

Johnson was a unanimous national player of the year winner in 1977, his final season. He was one of the program’s biggest stars in the brief Gene Bartow era. Johnson played a key role in UCLA’s trips to the Final Four in 1976 and 1977. 

6. Walt Hazzard (1961-64)

Statistically speaking, Walt Hazzard isn’t the most decorated player to come out of UCLA. However, he helped the program reach the next level, and played a role in paving the way for its run of dominance under John Wooden. Hazzard was the guard who guided UCLA to its first two national titles under Wooden and is certainly one of the most significant players in program history. 

5. Sidney Wicks (1968-71) 

Another Oscar Robertson Trophy winner, Wicks had the daunting job of bridging the gap between the Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton eras. He did the job exceptionally well, as the Bruins won two more titles and lost only three games in his two years as a starter.

4. Don MacLean (1988-92) 

How can we leave off the all-time leading scorer in UCLA history? MacLean got buckets during his time as a Bruin, and he played a big role in helping UCLA return to prominence. After missing the NCAA Tournament in four of the previous five seasons, UCLA made the dance in each of MacLean’s four seasons. Unfortunately, the best scorer in program history never made it past the Elite Eight. 

3. Gail Goodrich (1962-65) 

Goodrich was one of UCLA’s first true stars and a key part of the beginning of UCLA’s dynasty. He goes down in Bruins lore for his 42-point performance in the 1965 national championship game against Michigan. His No. 25 currently hangs from the rafters. 

2. Bill Walton (1971-74) 

Where do you begin when chronicling Bill Walton’s career at UCLA. He was a three-time national player of the year selection. He’s the all-time leader in rebounds in program history. Walton also played in 73 of UCLA’s 88 straight victories. When you think of UCLA’s dominant dynasty, Walton is likely the first player who comes to mind. 

Lew Alcindor  (1966-69) 

Before he was known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Alcindor dominated at the collegiate level and began to establish his legacy as one of the greatest basketball players ever. Alcindor is second in scoring and rebounding in program history. He played in 90 games during his career and lost two of them. He scored 30 points 27 times. And he won three national championships, never losing a tournament game in his career. It’s hard to find a college basketball player with a more decorated career than him.