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OT: NBA FA #3 Thread: The Marcus Camby Sweepstakes

Marcus D. Camby (born March 22, 1974) is an American professional basketball center who has most recently played with the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was named Defensive Player of the Year during the 2006–07 NBA season, leading the league in blocked shots per game.[1] Camby is also a four-time member of the NBA all-defensive team.

Camby played three seasons for the UMass Minutemen. He is second all-time in total blocked shots (336) at UMass and the fourth-ever college player to have at least 300 total career blocked shots.[4] He had an NCAA freshman record 105 total rejections during his first year at UMass, and was named the Atlantic 10's Freshman of the Year.[4] Camby was named to the A-10's First Team during his sophomore season in 1994-95, as the Minutemen reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.

Camby won the John R. Wooden Award and the Naismith College Player of the Year Award during the 1995–96 season. He led UMass to numerous #1 rankings and the 1996 NCAA Final Four.[5] In the NCAA tournament, Camby set a tourney record of 43 total blocked shots in 11 games.[4] On April 29, 1996, Camby announced that he would forgo his senior year at UMass and enter the NBA Draft.

UMass' visit to the Final Four was later officially nullified by the NCAA because Camby had been found to have accepted $28,000 from two sports agents.[6][7] As part of the penalty, the school was forced to return their $151,617 in revenue from the 1996 NCAA Tournament. Camby later reimbursed the school for the amount lost. According to a 1997 Sports Illustrated article, the agents, John Lounsbury and Wesley Spears of Connecticut, had hoped that Camby would hire them to represent him when he became a professional. The article reported that Camby had also received "jewelry, rental cars and prostitutes" from the agents.[8]

Camby was inducted into the UMass Athletic Hall of Fame on September 10, 2010.[9] Though some criticized the school for inducting a student-athlete who caused their Final Four achievement to be vacated, others saw it as a positive recognition of one of the school's best ever athletes.[10][11][12]

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