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Remembering the Top 10: Most Career Rebounds

By Matt Dykstra | August 16, 2017

There’s always been a positive correlation between winning and rebounding the ball well. All good teams have at least one or two players who can haul in the boards. It’s not glamorous, but there’s still very much a place for the rebounding, shot-blocking big men in today’s NBA and NBA G League.

However, who says rebounding is just for big men? There are some players on this list who would argue otherwise. The swingmen, guards, and centers that make up our top-10 rebounding list have shown fearlessness in attacking the glass each and every night. Some names you’ll expect to see, while others may surprise you. Let’s get started.

Most Career Rebounds

1. Nick Davis: 1,164

Nick Davis was the best rebounder in Skyforce history, and it’s not very close. Davis averaged 10.6 rebounds in 110 games while in Sioux Falls, and even though some players averaged more rebounds per game than he did, none were able to maintain those numbers for nearly as long.

Until Keith Benson joined him during the 2016-17 season, Davis had been the only Skyforce player to have collected over 1,000 rebounds in his career. Though the CBA regular season was a little bit longer than today’s NBA G League season, Davis was able to pile up all 1,164 of his rebounds in just two seasons and while only starting a handful of games.

Davis holds the franchise record for most rebounds in a single game with 32 against the Yakima Sun Kings on January 14, 1999. He also holds the single-season rebounding record with 654 during the 1999-00 season.

2. Keith Benson: 1,048

After not appearing on the all-time rebounding list a season ago, Benson averaged a career-high 10.5 rebounds per game last season, boosting him all the way up to his current spot in second place. In his 119-game career, he has averaged 8.8 rebounds per game. He also ranks 8th on the all-time scoring list, and has become known as a double-double machine over the last two seasons.

Last season, Benson tallied a league-leading 32 double-doubles and led the team in points (20.5), rebounds, and blocked shots (2.2) per game. Benson has become a key component in the paint for Sioux Falls over the last two seasons as his game has developed, and should he return for another year, he has a legitimate chance to become the all-time leader in both points and rebounds.

3. Leonard White: 976

Leonard White comes in just one spot below Keith Benson for the second time in this all-time series, standing at ninth overall in all-time points scored. This time, he comes in third on our all-time rebounding list. White represents our first non-center to make the list, coming in at just 6-5 and weighing roughly 215 pounds.

White averaged 9.8 rebounds per game through 100 games played, crashing the glass each and every night. White made a profound impact on the CBA during his playing career, and serves as one of the best players in league history.

4. Jason Sasser: 929

Jason Sasser was ranked fourth all-time in points scored, and comes in at number four again in our all-time rebounding rankings. Sasser, much like Leonard White, was a wing player who wasn’t afraid to crash the glass. During the 1996-97 season, Sasser averaged 18.0 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, resulting in back-to-back 10-day contracts with the San Antonio Spurs from January 6 to January 27, 1997 followed by a call-up from the Dallas Mavericks on February 27, 1997.

Sasser’s two call-ups during the 1996-97 season contributed to the second highest amount of call-ups in a single season in Skyforce franchise history, as seven different players were called up on nine different occasions. Two years later, Sasser was called up to the Vancouver Grizzlies in 1999, one of 10 call-ups that season, the most in franchise history.

5. Leonard Harris: 848

Leonard Harris was one of the original members of the Sioux Falls Skyforce franchise, playing in each of the team’s first two seasons between 1989 and 1991. Harris appeared in a total of 93 games, averaging 9.1 rebounds per game over the course of his brief career.

The athletic, 6-7, 210-pound forward holds the third-highest rebounding average out of anyone on our top-10 list for a reason. During the 1990-91 season, Harris averaged a double-double with 10.6 points per game and 10.9 rebounds per game. He served as a key role player on a team led by Tharon Mayes’ 25.1 points per game.

6. Monty Buckley: 846

Monty Buckley moved up a number of Skyforce history rankings due to his 187-game career, second only to David Bailey (207) for the most games played in franchise history. None of Buckley’s career averages jump out at you. He averaged just 8.2 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. However, Buckley impacted the game in a number of ways, and his appearances on our top-10 lists are not over just yet.

7. Randy Livingston: 815

Randy Livingston has now made his third-straight top-10 list, and no one should be surprised at this point. As someone who put winning above all else, he was willing to do whatever he needed to help the team succeed. Over the course of his career, Livingston alone accounted for seven NBA Call-Ups. In total, he played for nine different NBA teams in his 12-year professional career.

“A lot of people have talked about how many teams I’ve played for,” said Livingston. “People see all of the team’s I’ve played for and are impressed, but few people take into consideration that I had been waived by teams over 20 times throughout my career. It was hard. I had to always remind myself of the goal that I had set for myself, which was to play in the NBA each and every year.”

Averaging 4.7 rebounds per game over his 175-game career, rebounding was just another small piece of what Livingston brought to the table, and helped him to achieve his goal of making it back to the NBA each season.

8. Ralph Lewis: 755

The fact that Ralph Lewis appears on yet another top-10 list should come as a surprise to no one. Lewis was dominant in his two seasons in Sioux Falls, and his 6.8 rebounds per game over his 111-game career were just icing on the cake.

Lewis was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the 1985 NBA Draft, but began his NBA career in 1987 after having played for four different minor league teams in his first two seasons as a professional. After a stint with the Charlotte Hornets, Lewis joined the Skyforce for the team’s inaugural season in 1989-90, earning the team’s first CBA All-Star appearance and second NBA Call-Up (Detroit).

9. Tony Massop: 713

Tony Massop makes his first appearance in the Skyforce history books, coming in at number nine on our all-time rebounding list. Massop serves as another player whose stats won’t necessarily jump off the page, but was a key contributor on some really competitive Skyforce teams.

As part of the 1995-96 team that would go on to win the CBA Championship, Massop averaged 9.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game in roughly 25 minutes per contest. In the 1996 playoffs, he appeared in all 14 games off the bench, averaging 6.5 points and 4.1 rebounds in just under 17 minutes per game.

10. David Bailey: 694 

Like his former teammate, Randy Livingston, David Bailey makes his third top-10 list in as many attempts, rounding out our all-time rebounding list. Much like his point and assist production, Bailey sustained consistent and respectable numbers over the course of his career to make his way into the top-10 in rebounding.

Bailey averaged 3.4 rebounds per game over the course of his 207 games played, and stuffed the stat sheet each and every night. As proof, Bailey once tallied a triple-double in a CBA Finals win over the Rockford Lightning on March 29, 2005. He totaled 35 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists as the Skyforce put up 150 points in regulation.