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YouTube Gold: Kenny Dennard

K-Dog was a lot of fun at Duke - and then he showed a lot of heart in overcoming cancer.

University of Kentucky Jack Givens, 1978 NCAA National Championship
College Basketball: NCAA Final Four: Kentucky Jack Givens (21) in action vs Duke Kenny Dennard (33) and Mike Gminski (43) during championship game. St. Louis, MO 3/27/1978
Set Number: X22239 TK2

Kenny Dennard probably doesn’t get the attention he should get when we talk about great Duke players.

There are a few reasons for that. First, time does move on and he was a senior in 1981. Second, ESPN started up near the end of Dennard’s time in Durham so he wasn’t on TV every other night like Duke is now. And third, Mike Krzyzewski started at Duke in 1980, which was just in time for Dennard’s senior season.

But in a lot of ways, Dennard was a prototype: at 6-8, he was one of the earlier players that size with guard skills. He had a lot of great moments at Duke but one of the very best was his backwards dunk against Villanova in the 1978 Eastern Regional Finals.

He really deserves a lot more respect from Duke fans and media. This is a guy who went toe to toe with Buck Williams and held his own. He also has an amazing personality that was front and center at Duke.

His NBA career was cut short when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer before the 1982-83 season. Basketball faded away, but Dennard, thankfully, is still with us.

(Okay, K-Dog, you can send the check to DBR Headquarters)