Big 5 players to win NBA title

Daily News co-worker Mark Perner points out that if the Spurs can pull out Game 7 Thursday night, San Antonio's Gary Neal (who spent two years at La Salle before transferring to Towson)  will become the 11th different player to attend a City 6 school and win an NBA title since 1957. Sixers broadcaster Malik Rose (Drexel) is the only one among them to win more than one title.

Why start with 1957? Well, the 1956 NBA Champions were the Philadelphia Warriors, who had no less than seven Big 5 players — Jack George, Tom Gola and Jackie Moore (La Salle), Ernie Beck (Penn), Paul Arizin, Larry Hennessy and Bob Schafer (Villanova).

City 6 players on an NBA Champion since 1957 (*Injured during regular season and did not play in postseason):


 Year     Player  Team  College
 1967  Billy Melchionni  76ers  Villanova
 1967  Matt Guokas  76ers  Saint Joseph's   
 1967  Wali Jones  76ers  Villanova
 1974  Phil Hankinson  Celtics  Penn
 1977  Corky Calhoun  Trail Blazers     Penn
 1981  Chris Ford  Celtics  Villanova
 1990  Ralph Lewis  Pistons  La Salle
 1992  Rory Sparrow  Bulls  Villanova
 1999  Malik Rose  Spurs  Drexel
 2000  *John Celestand     Lakers  Villanova
 2003  Malik Rose  Spurs  Drexel
 2005  Malik Rose  Spurs  Drexel