Tennessee basketball best NBA career No. 3: Dale Ellis
A talented shooter from Marietta, Georgia, Dale Ellis made himself known during a long basketball career, starting at Tennessee way back in 1979. He was a significant figure for the Volunteers and remains one of the finest players in their history.
He worked his way into the starting lineup as a freshman and put up good numbers as a sophomore, but it was his final two seasons that earned him the money. In each of those last two collegiate years, Ellis averaged at least 21 points and 6 rebounds per game. He was named SEC Player of the Year each season and was also an All-American, earning First Team honors in 1983.
A few months after that honor, Ellis became the 9th pick of that NBA Draft, getting his career started with the Dallas Mavericks. It was a long, successful NBA career that wouldn’t end until 2000 and would include an All-Star Game and a ton of long-range shooting.
A reserve with the Mavericks, he became a star with the Seattle Supersonics, averaging more than 24 points per game across four and a half seasons in Seattle. He was a high-impact shooter and scorer and retired as the NBA’s all-time leader in made 3-pointers, though he sits just 28th nowadays.
With over 19,000 career points and a boatload of shooting success, it’s clear that Ellis had quite the legacy in the NBA. He also won an NCAA Tournament game in each of his four collegiate seasons, which is certainly an impressive feat in Tennessee history. Undoubtedly, Ellis made his mark on the game.