Pat Riley, the man most of us know as a successful NBA coach, was an aggressive basketball player at the University of Kentucky, 1965-1967 and a very five player in the National Basketball Association.
Pat Riley's resounding defensive play helped famed Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp reach the 1966 NCAA Championship Game before losing to Texas El Paso. Although no player was over 6' 5" Rupp teamed up Pat Riley and Larry Conley and shifted to a 1-3-1 zone defense to enable Kentucky to defeat Duke 83-79 in semi-final action.
In the NBA, Pat Riley played his first 3 years with the San Diego Rockets, however with a fan base averaging under 7000 per game, the Rockets folded and moved to Houston and Riley signed with the LA Lakers, 1970-71. There, he helped Los Angeles reach the playoffs 4 times in the next 6 seasons. In 1971-72 the Lakers with a powerhouse squad of Jerry West, Wilt the Stilt Chamberlain, Gail Goodrich and Riley won the NBA Championship.