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Feb 11, 2021

Clemson Athletics Black History: Tree Rollins

Tree Rollins was the first Clemson student-athlete in any sport to have his number retired, as his #30 was hung in the rafters prior to his final home game in 1977.   He was the first Clemson African-American basketball player to earn All-America honors and the school’s first first-round NBA draft choice.

A three-time All-ACC player, the native of Cordele, Georgia finished his career with 450 blocked shots, still third in ACC  history, and he is the only league player to average over four blocked shots per game for a career.  Rollins remains Clemson’s career leader and is fifth in league history in rebounds with 1,311.  He averaged a school record 11.9 rebounds per game over his 110 game career.

The Clemson graduate went on to an 18-year career in the NBA.   Rollins was named to the ACC 50-Year Anniversary team in 2003, and was inducted into the Clemson Ring of Honor in 2017.