VCU fans, this is going to be akin to a fireside chat with your grandfather. You know the one, where he tells you about the old days and seems to speak in tongues, talking about sock hops and soda jerks.
The march of time and the recent success of VCU Basketball have given berth to brand new generations of Rams fans, ones who know little of the names Duncan, Henderson, Lamb, Watson and Hopkins. I urge you to learn them, know them and speak them often.
Which brings me to Kendrick Warren. There are many fans who don’t know the singular brilliance of Warren, an explosive forward who was a walking mixtape before mixtapes. Many longtime VCU fans would argue – and they’d have a really good argument – that Warren was the best or the most talented player ever to play for the Rams.
A former McDonald’s All-American in high school, Warren dunked his way to a then VCU-record 1,858 points, 1,049 rebounds and 43 double-doubles from 1990-94. He ranks second in VCU history in all of those categories. When people discuss VCU Basketball history, they often do so in these terms: J.D. Barnett’s teams from 1979-85, Kendrick Warren and then this new “golden age” since 2004. That’s because from 1986-2003, Kendrick Warren was the one shred of national relevance for a program stuck in neutral. It’s also the reason why Warren’s greatness is sometimes overlooked. While Calvin Duncan, Eric Maynor and even Gerald Henderson, to some degree, were the stars of successful VCU teams, Warren’s era was symptomatic of the program’s two-decade malaise. VCU was 62-55 and made one NIT appearance during Warren’s career.
We shouldn’t let that detract from Warren’s individual brilliance. Recently, a VCU fan made available more than 15 minutes of Kendrick Warren highlights, mostly about 300 thunderous dunks, and it’s fabulous. Seriously, if you can’t enjoy Kendrick Warren dunking in people’s faces, you may be dead inside. This should be required watching for any VCU fan.
PHOTO GALLERY – KENDRICK WARREN