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Texas Tech Basketball Legends- Tony Battie

Photo CC: Texas Tech Athletics

Tony Batttie was a legend in Lubbock and had a long NBA career, and this is why he is considered in our “Texas Tech Basketball Legends” series.

College Career:

Battie played for Texas Tech from 1994-1997 and was quite successful and got better each year he played. His career stats were in 87 games, he averaged 10.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 0.8 assists while shooting 54.5% from the field.

His best season came his junior year when he averaged 18.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks a game. Battie had 71 blocks that season. While at Texas Tech, he recorded 32 double-doubles. He would also earn himself a spot on 1996-97 All-Big 12 First Team.

During his career, the Red Raiders would make the NCAA tournament one time, when in 1996 they would win the SWC (Southwest Conference) and would make the Sweet 16 by beating Northern Illinois, and North Carolina. He would have 16 points and 14 rebounds against North Carolina to help them secure the win.

Battie ranks 9th on the All-Time rebound list with 724 over three years. He is the All-Time leader in blocks with 162. He was the leader for most blocks in a season with 71 up until 2018 when Tariq Owens shattered the record with 92 that season.

Battie still stays very connected to the school and was even on the hiring and interview committee when Tech hired newly head coach Mark Adams.

NBA Career:

After an impressive college career, Battie would be a very sought-after NBA draft prospect in the 1997 NBA Draft. In a draft class that included Tim Duncan, Chauncey Billups, and Tracy McGrady, Battie was selected with the 5th overall pick by the Denver Nuggets.

During his rookie year, he averaged 8.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.1 blocks, and 0.9 assists. He appeared in 65 games and started 49 of those. His stint with Denver was extremely short because he would be traded that next season.

He was traded to Boston in 1998 where he would spend 6 seasons, Over his career, he would play for 6 different teams. Over his 15 year career, he played for the Nuggets, Celtics, 76ers, Magic, and the New Jersey Nets. While with the Magic, in 2009 they would make it to the NBA Finals and play against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers and would unfortunately lose.

Battie was a solid role player who only became more valuable with age. His worth came from his perfect offensive and defensive screens which aided in the team strategy. As his career progressed, Battie’s veteran presence was a helpful tool to young, emerging teams like the Magic and the 76ers.

Although he wasn’t the superstar of the team, Battie was probably one of the most important veterans and pieces on those young Magic and 76ers teams’ because his experience and skillsets allowed him to step into a leadership role to progress young players like Dwight Howard. Battie would retire in 2012 after two seasons in Philadelphia.

Battie still remains loved in Lubbock by Red Raider fans, and his career at Tech earned him on our “Texas Tech Basketball Legends” list who’s career record in blocks still yet to be broken, but a testament to the hard-nosed defensive mindset colleges across the country have come to know Texas Tech as. His accomplishments over his three years in Lubbock and his career in the NBA also were just a step as he was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Fame Class of 2017.

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