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Dean Smith's Influence on the Hawks

Dean Smith has indelibly left his mark on the NBA. Here are the five Hawks who once played for the coaching legend at UNC.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Dean Smith has indelibly left his mark on the NBA.  Here are the five Hawks who once played for the coaching legend at UNC.

Al Wood

Wood had a storied career during his four years at UNC under Smith (1977-81), finishing with a 56 percent career shooting percentage which led to over 2,000 points - good enough to be currently fifth all-time on UNC's career scoring list.  Wood was selected fourth overall by the Hawks in 1981, but only played in 19 games before being traded to the San Diego Clippers for Freeman Williams.  He was the first of Dean's alumni to put on a Hawks uniform.

Dudley Bradley

Bradley earned his nickname "The Secretary of Defense" while under Dean Smith from 1975-1979, especially in his senior year at UNC when he was known as an elite defender.  He is remembered there for a regular season victory over a flagging NC State team, when he stole the ball with eight seconds left and got an uncontested dunk for the win.  He played for Smith's 1977 UNC which fell to Marquette in the championship game.  Bradley came to Atlanta in 1988 for his final season of a respectable ten year career.  The Hawks were his seventh team.

Kenny Smith

The Jet's four years at UNC from 1983-87 were a great prediction of his NBA days.  His 51 percent shooting in college translated to a 48 percent career shooting percentage in the NBA, and his points per game in college and the NBA were almost identical (12.9 and 12.8, respectively).  He was selected sixth overall in the 1987 draft.  In 1990, he was traded from the Kings to the Hawks in February, but only got to play the final 33 games for Atlanta before being traded in the offseason to the Houston Rockets, where he won two rings.

Jerry Stackhouse

Stack was considered elite after playing on Smith's 1993-95 UNC teams, scoring 19 points per game in his sophomore year.  He went pro and was selected third overall by the 76ers in 1995.  Stackhouse had an excellent NBA career and finished in the top 100 in all-time scoring.  In 2011, Jerry signed with the Hawks for one season, making Atlanta the seventh of his eight teams.  He didn't see a lot of time as a Hawk, but did compete in the All-Star Weekend festivities representing Atlanta.

Rasheed Wallace

Sheed's history with the Hawks is well known.  After spending two productive years (1993-1995) at UNC, Wallace bolted for the NBA and was taken fourth overall by the Washington Bullets.  In 2004, Wallace was traded to the Hawks and played one game, scoring 20 points.   He was then traded to Detroit, where he won a championship that very year.  He had an excellent eighteen-year career in the NBA.

Not included in this article were players who never suited up for the Hawks, such as Darrell Elston, who was drafted by the Hawks, but played for the Virginia Squires in the ABA, or Antawn Jamison, who was traded to the Hawks then waived immediately.