Celebrating the Guys in the Sweet Sixteen

NCAA hottest and most skilled ballers make it to the final sixteen.
ESSENCE.COM Mar, 25, 2009

1 of 17 Corbis

We couldn’t let you watch the NCAA Sweet Sixteen Tournament without sharing the hottest and most interesting young players on the court. ESSENCE.com searched from east to west to find these sexy ballers. Keep clicking to see if your team is part of the bunch.

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Age: 21
Hometown: Silver Spring, Maryland
School: Senior, Villanova University
Major: Communications
Fun Fact: This cutie’s love of basketball runs in his family. His sister Davalyn Cunningham once played for the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun.

3 of 17

Age: 21
Hometown: Plainfield, New Jersey
School: Junior, University of Louisville
Major: Communications
Fun Fact: Though Mike Epps is his favorite actor, we were a little surprised to learn that he would love for rapper Snoop Dogg to play him in a movie based on his life.

4 of 17 Corbis

Age: 22
Hometown: North Babylon, NY
School: Senior, University of North Carolina
Major: Communications
Fun Fact: Green has become a UNC fan favorite. Before every game, he gets pumped up by listening to “Jump Around,” by House of Pain.

5 of 17 Corbis

Age: 21
Hometown: Lima, Ohio
School:Senior, Michigan State
Major: Family Community Services
Fun Fact: Basketball is his game but when he’s off the court, you can see Walton penning lyrics and creating his own raps.

6 of 17 Corbis

Age: 21
Hometown: Clinton, Maryland
School: Junior, University of North Carolina
Major: Exercise and Sport Science
Fun Fact: Ty Lawson may be able to dribble a basketball like a pro but he can also kick a soccer ball with skills. This hottie played soccer in high school.

7 of 17 Corbis

Age: 20
Hometown: Niagara Falls, New York
School:Sophomore, Syracuse University
Major: Communications and Rhetorical Studies
Fun Fact: The preacher’s son. Flynn’s father is a reverend in his hometown of Niagara Falls, New York.

8 of 17 Corbis

Age: 22
Hometown: Herndon, Virginia
School: Junior, Villanova University
Major: General Studies
Interesting Fact: The star guard was adopted as an infant but still passionately seeks to find his birth mother.

9 of 17

Age: 23
Hometown: Clinton, Maryland
School: Senior, Pittsburgh University
Major: Communications
Fun Fact: This power forward loves a good home-cooked meal. His favorite food? Sweet potatoes.

10 of 17 Corbis

Age: 22
Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama
School: University of Missouri
Major: Human and Organizational Development
Fun Fact: DeMarre Carroll is often called “The Junkyard Dog” because he played most of his junior year with an ankle injury, but still reached double digit figures in scoring for his team. We are so impressed!

11 of 17 Corbis

Age: 20
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
School: University of Pittsburgh
Major: General Studies
Fun Fact: Blair admires basketball phenom Shaquille O’Neal and even reads his biography for inspiration.

12 of 17

Age: 22
Hometown: Seattle
School: University of Louisville
Major: Communications
Fun Fact: Single ladies, where are you? This cutie secretly wishes he could settle down now with a wife and kids.

13 of 17 Corbis

Age: 22
Hometown: Caldwell, New Jersey
School: Duke University
Major: Psychology with a certificate in Markets and Management Studies
Fun Fact: The basketball doesn’t fall far from the hoop. Gerald Henderson is a gifted player whose father was a 13-year veteran in the NBA. His dad even won three NBA championship rings with the Boston Celtics and the Detroit Pistons.

14 of 17 Corbis

Age: 20
Hometown: Edmond, Oklahoma
School: University of Oklahoma
Major: Pre-Health and Exercise Science
Fun Fact: Nicknamed “Blake the Great,” the 6-foot-10-inch tall Griffin was rated as the No. 1 pick for the 2009 NBA draft by ESPN’s Chad Ford.

15 of 17

Age : 22
Hometown : Wynnewood, Pennsylvania
School: University of North Carolina
Major: Communication Studies
Fun Fact: Ellington is also talented in track and field. He received a two-year letterman on his track team in high, triple and long jumps.

16 of 17 Corbis

Age; 21
Hometown: Rockville, Maryland
School: University of Connecticut
Major: General Studies
Fun Fact: A man of the world, this hottie was able to exercise his language skills when he spent his junior year aboard in Spain.

17 of 17 Ap Image

Age: 24
Hometown: Richmond, Virginia
School: University of Memphis
Major: Interdisciplinary Studies
Fun Fact: This brother has the will to make things happen. Taggart played in all 30 games despite suffering a stomach virus though most of his preseason drills. Not to mention, his birthday was March 26.

Wish Shawn Taggert a happy birthday and tell us which team you picked to win the big prize this year.

By Elona Jones and Jenisha Watts