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.
VOTING FOR SECOND ROUND ENDS MONDAY AT 3 P.M.
J. WALTER KENNEDY REGION
4. Chris Drury
NHL center: 1998-2011
1st Round: Defeated 13. Tebucky Jones 78.36% to 21.64%
The Fairfield College Preparatory School grad was drafted by the Quebec Nordiques 72nd overall in the third round of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. After being drafted, Drury began a four-year career at Boston University. At BU, the 1998 Hobey Baker Award-winner (NCAA’s men’s college ice hockey player of the year) won a national title in 1995, was a three-time All-Hockey East All-Star, and was a two-time AHCA East First-Team All-American.
Not only did Drury have an outstanding NHL career, playing 12 years with the Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers, he also won the Little League World Series title as a pitcher for Trumbull back in 1989.
Drury collected 615 points in almost 900 NHL games. He also won a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche.
5. Marcus Camby
NBA center: 1996-2013
1st Round: Defeated 12. Jimmy Shea 73.63% to 26.37%
The former Hartford Public phenom has had an incredibly productive career in the NBA, playing 17 seasons and posting averages of 9.9 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. Camby even won the league’s Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2007 as a member of the Denver Nuggets.
The athletic big man was one of the top recruits in the nation coming out of high school, and signed with John Calipari at UMass. He was the National Player of the Year in 1996 and led the Minutemen to a 30-1 record and a trip to the Final Four, but those wins were later vacated when it came out that UMass violated NCAA rules in Camby’s recruitment.