Greatest Athlete in Connecticut History Tournament: Floyd Little vs. Mike Gminski

(AP Photo/File)

It’s summertime, and that means it’s time for another SportzEdge ® Bracket-style, 64-team tournament! Feel the excitement!!!

Last year, we changed the course of modern human civilization with the Coolest NCAA Logo Tournament, which became a national phenomenon along the lines of a presidential election, Caitlyn Jenner’s ESPY speech, or DeAndre Jordan changing his mind about where he wants to play basketball.

This year, we decided to take on a question scholars have been debating since the 1800’s, maybe.

Who is the greatest athlete in Connecticut history?

There are plenty of outstanding candidates, from Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, to four-time Boston Marathon champion Bill Rogers, to all-time great featherweight boxer Willie Pep.

The athletes we considered must have grown up in Connecticut, and we counted only their prowess on the playing field, so coaches, executives and contributors like Walter Camp were not considered.


2. Floyd Little

Denver Broncos running back: 1967-1975

New Haven

At 5-10, 195 pounds, the aptly-named Little had a big career in pro football. A star at Syracuse in the 1960s, the New Haven native and Denver Broncos running back led the AFL in rushing in 1969 and ’71. He was a two-time AFL All-Star and three-time AFC-NFC Pro Bowl selection. Little spent his entire career with the Broncos, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

(AP Photo/John Swart)
(AP Photo/John Swart)

15. Mike Gminski

NBA center: 1980-1994


The G-Man was a star player at Duke, where he remains one of the greatest players in that school’s storied history. Gminski averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds in his four years with the Blue Devils from 1976-80. He went on to play 14 years in the NBA, most notably with the New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, and Charlotte Hornets. Gminski averaged 11.7 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. He currently does television work as a color commentator on college basketball games for CBS and Fox Sports Network.

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