CGB Hall of Fame: (3)Shareef Abdur-Rahim v. (14)Lavelle Hawkins

Rick Stewart

Our next match-up in the CGB Hall of Fame tourney comes out of the Pappy Waldorf region and pits one of the best basketball players to come through Cal, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, against a solid and reliable force in the receiving corps in the mid 2000's, Lavelle Hawkins. We'll take a look at both of them and then you can cast your vote to decide who moves on. You can take a look at the whole bracket here and voting will end Friday at noon.

(3) Shareef Abdur-Rahim

1996 NBA Draft - 3 - Shareef Abdur-Rahim, California (via Jean-Sebastien Blondel)

Shareef's one year was a dandy.

Abdur-Rahim later attended college at the University of California, Berkeley, where he maintained a GPA of 3.5.[1] At California, he averaged 21.1 points per game (ppg) and 8.4 rebounds per game (rpg) in 28 games.[1] He was the first freshman in Pac-10 history to win Conference Player of the Year honors, and was named Third Team All-America by the Associated Press.[1] Abdur-Rahim also set single-season freshman records for points, scoring average, field goals, and free throws.

As for Shareef, LeonPowe has this to say.

I’m just going to talk about the player. Back in 1996, 6’10 225 power fowards who could handle the rock, and play a tall 3 weren’t common. Thus "THE FUTURE" (as he was nicknamed) arrived at Cal. As the school’s highest profile recruit since Kidd (and until . . .well me), the first time we saw Shareef (from Atlanta) it was the McDonald’s All America Game. We were really excited getting the #3 prospect in the country . . .until the skinny guy who matched against him blocked his shot about 10 times and basically destroyed in the All Star Game. (That guy turned out to be pretty good himself)

No matter, when Shareef got to Cal – he made an immediate impact. Team with JUCO transfer Ed Gray, along with Jelani Gardner (ugh) and Randy Duck and Tony Gonzalez, ’Reef was able to garner Pac 10 POY honors, along with dropping in over 22 ppg (is that right?)

But more than that, I remember the effortless scoring. Earlier I talked about "The Future" and ‘Reef was . . . a silky smooth 6’9" power foward who could shoot it all the way out to 3 point range, destroy people on the block with a series of spin moves, and half hooks or face up and take defenders off the dribble, Shareef had the smoothest and most polished offensive game of any freshman ever at Cal.

Additionally, with the middle part of the season falling during the holy month of Ramadan, Shareef was destroying defenders in the paint all the whilein the middle of fasts and spirtual concentration.

The thought of Kelvin Cato blocking anything, much less basketballs, is a wild concept.

(14) Lavelle Hawkins

Lavelle Hawkins Highlights 1 (via ronenlish1)

rollonubears has this perspective:

2007 sucked. Everyone knows that. Team morale was frighteningly low. During the 6 game period known as the Callapse, it seemed like no one was showing up on a consistent basis. There are 2 main exceptions: Justin Forsett and Lavelle Hawkins. We had a much ballyhooed WR corp that year, being referred to by some as the best top 3 group in the nation. Lavelle Hawkins was definitely not the most talented. Yet he was easily the most dependable. Every single game Hawk did his job. Didn’t have particularly gaudy stats, but he averaged 6 catches a game during that stretch and I know I felt confident that he was going to have at least a solid game every time out. I appreciate Hawk for actually being consistent during that stretch when it seemed that no one else was (sadly, that team proved that bad morale and inconsistency are contagious, as witnessed by the drops. You know which ones I’m talking about). Hawk was one of the few bright spots on that team. He was, without question, the best receiver that year. Thanks Hawk.

Also his TD catch against USC is one of the most incredible catches I have ever seen. He literally flew. His nickname is Hawk for a reason.

Lavelle has gone on to have a very solid career in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans. He's played for them for 6 years now and he emerged as a great and sure-handed receiver for them.

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