In the spirit of the upcoming March Madness frenzy, I decided to take a look back at some of the all-time greatest NCAA Tournament players and performances from future (now former) Lakers. As one might expect from an organization with as rich a history as the Los Angeles Lakers, such a list could get extremely long. I decided to narrow it down to the seven future Lakers that not only had fantastic pre-NBA careers, but reached the pinnacle of college basketball in being named the nation’s Final Four Most Outstanding Player.
Wilt Chamberlain: 1957 Most Outstanding Player
Whether you called Chamberlain the “Big Dipper” or “The Stilt”, he was truly a man playing amongst boys from an early age. Often criticized for not winning as many titles (college/pro) as others, Chamberlain’s accolades and accomplishments are still some of the most impressive in NCAA/NBA history.
36 points, 22 rebounds vs. Southern Methodist University
30 points, 15 rebounds vs. Oklahoma City
32 points, 11 rebounds vs. San Francisco
23 points, 14 rebounds vs. North Carolina
Elgin Baylor: 1958 Most Outstanding Player
Elgin Baylor’s name may no longer come up in our current, revisionist-inspired sports conversation, but basketball fans over the age of 40 will assure you of his all-around greatness. As a player, he was the perfect blend of speed, power, and athleticism. Baylor did much of what we commend some of the well-rounded players of today, but at only 6’5″.
35 points, 14 rebounds vs. San Francisco
26 points, 18 rebounds vs. California
23 points, 22 rebounds vs. Kansas St.
25 points, 19 rebounds vs. Kentucky
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