July 11, 2005
Queens, NY - Bill Wennington's basketball journey has seen him go from St. John's to Sacramento, Italy to Chicago, and back to Sacramento again, and has now ended with his enshrinement into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame earlier this year.
The foundation for his lengthy professional career was laid at St. John's where Wennington, a native of Montreal, Canada, was a senior on the 1985 Final Four team. Over his four years in school, Wennington tallied 1, 021 points (No. 37 all-time), 644 rebounds (22nd all-time), and a 57.9 shooting percentage (2nd all-time). He is also one of only 26 St. John's players to record 1,000 points and 500 rebounds. His former college coach, legendary Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Lou Carnesecca, attended the ceremony.
Wennington spent five seasons as part of the Canadian National team and competed in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, where he led the team to a fourth-place finish. His greatest accomplishment on the national stage came when his Canadian team beat a United States team featuring Charles Barkley and Karl Malone in the 1983 World University Games to win gold.
Wennington began his professional career when he was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks with the 16th overall pick in 1985. He spent six seasons in Dallas before a trade sent him to Sacramento for a year, and then to he played in Italy for two. While in Italy's best league, Wennington led his team (Knorr Bologna) to a championship, which earned him a trip back to the NBA, this time with the Chicago Bulls in 1993.
That year is better known as the year Michael Jordan retired to go play baseball. It looked like Wennington just missed out on something special, but Jordan came back two seasons later. It was upon Jordan's return that Wennington's role was more defined and the Bulls reeled off their second three-peat of the `90s.
Wennington was a key role player for all three of those championship teams (1996, 1997, and 1998) and when Chicago won in 1996, he became only the second Canadian to ever win an NBA championship.
The championships were a nice payoff for the hard-working Wennington, who played in over 700 NBA games and grabbed more then 2, 000 rebounds over his career for three different teams, and is currently serving as a color analyst for the Bulls on the radio.
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### St. John's Athletics ###
Former St. John's basketball player Bill Wennington was inducted into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame recently.