Top 10 KSU athletes of the decade

As 2010 approaches, the Daily Kent Stater sports staff decided to rank the 10 best Kent State athletes of the decade. The list, while well thought out, is completely unscientific and intended to spark debate. We look forward to your own lists in our mailbox and the comment section of

1. Antonio Gates (2002-2003, men’s basketball)

The perennial Pro-Bowl tight end for the San Diego Chargers played some spectacular basketball at Kent State. He made the NCAA All-South Regional Team during the team’s Elite Eight run in 2002 and broke the Kent State single-season scoring record with 640 points in 2003, the same year he was named an AP All-American.

2. Ben Curtis (1996-2000, men’s golf)

Best known for winning the British Open in 2003, Curtis is possibly the best golfer in Kent State history (although current junior John Hahn could have something to say about that). In his senior year, Curtis led the Flashes to a ninth-place finish at the NCAA championships.

3. John Van Benschoten (1998-2001, baseball)

Baseball analysts are still at a loss to why the Pittsburgh Pirates experimented with Van Benschoten at starting pitcher. The eighth-overall draft pick in 2001 led the nation in home runs (31) in his final season at Kent State.

4. Trevor Huffman (1999-2002, men’s basketball)

The 6-foot-2 guard from Petroskey, Mich., averaged 16 points and 4.4 assists in his senior year to help guide the Flashes to the Elite Eight. Huffman, whose No. 24 hangs in the rafters of the M.A.C. Center, finished his career as Kent State’s all-time leading scorer with 1,820 points in his career.

5. Lindsay Shearer (2003-2006, women’s basketball)

Shearer, the fourth leading scorer in Kent State women’s basketball history (1,799 points), had an especially dominant senior season. Her 623 points in 2005-2006 were the second most ever scored in a season in school history. Shearer dropped a team- and conference-record 44 points on Bowling Green in the Mid-American Conference Tournament in 2005.

6. Josh Cribbs (2001-2004, football)

Sure, Kent State only had one winning season with Cribbs under center, but that was no fault of his. The current Cleveland Browns return man holds the Kent State records for career passing yards (7,169) and total offense (10,839).

.7. Debbie Bell (2008-present, field hockey)

The lone current athlete to make our list, Bell has dominated in her time wearing a Kent State uniform. Bell finished tied for first in the nation in goals per game (1.45) and led the MAC in scoring for the second year in a row. The scary part? She’s only a sophomore.

8. Haminn “Q” Quaintance (2007-2008, men’s basketball)

Quaintance, who was drafted into the NBA Developmental League in November, was the fan favorite in his two years at Kent State because of his athleticism and aggressive defense. Quaintance became the first player in NCAA history to record at least 1,300 points, 900 rebounds, 250 assists, 250 Blocks and 200 steals by the end of his senior season.

9. Kira Meixner (2004-2008, women’s golf)

Meixner recorded the Flashes’ best finish at the NCAA finals in 2006 at 7-over-par, and a school-record round of 6-under-par in her senior season. Meixner was named the Canadian Amateur of the year in 2007 after winning the British Columbia Ladies Amateur Championship.

10. Jermail Porter (2004-2008, wrestling)

Last year, Porter gave Kent State its first All-American wrestler since 1986. Standing 6-foot-6 and weighing 285 pounds, Porter showed so much athleticism, the New England Patriots gave him a shot – despite him never playing a down of organized football in his life.

Contact the sports staff at [email protected].