Badger Heroes

· Jul 18, 2001 Tweet

The Sporting News recently named 99 “Good Guys” in professional sports. Five former Badgers were among those selected. Following is a brief recap for each former UW star on the list.

Michael Finley – UW Basketball 1991-95

Michael Finley, currently an All-Star swingman with the Dallas Mavericks, earned his Good Guy status after hosting 500 inner-city Chicago kids for a five-day basketball camp.

In Texas, Finley’s donations helped the Dallas ballet company tour Zimbabwe, while back home in Illinois Finley provided funds to help finish the renovation of his hometown Boys and Girls Clubs. This Badger all-time leading scorer annually buys shoes for the boys and girls basketball teams at his Chicago high school.

Finley is the only University of Wisconsin player to score 500 points in three different seasons and was twice named first-team all-Big Ten during his Badger career.

Curtis Joseph – UW Hockey 1988-89

Goalie Curtis Joseph, or “Cujo” as he’s known to Badger fans, exemplifies the title of a Good Guy. Currently with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Joseph helped fund Cujo’s Crease, a room at a Toronto children’s hospital dedicated to kids with cancer. Joseph and his wife also started Cujo’s Kids, a program where sick children and their families attend games in the Josephs’ suite.

For the University of Wisconsin, Joseph was 21-11-5 with a 2.49 goals against average and .919 save percentage in 1988-89. Joseph was voted the WCHA’s most valuable player and was a second team all-America for the Badgers.

Scott Mellanby – UW Hockey 1984-86

The St. Louis Blues’ Scott Mellanby, a former Badger forward, leads the National Hockey League in fund-raising to fight autism, after learning his son was autistic two years ago. While playing with the Florida Panthers, Mellanby lobbied the Florida Legislature for funding on behalf of families affected by autism.

Mellanby was Wisconsin’s top-scoring freshman with 14 goals and 24 assists in 1984-85. As a sophomore, Mellanby notched 21 goals and 23 assists in 32 games before being drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers.

Troy Vincent – UW Football 1988-92

Troy Vincent, a former Badger all-American, and a current defensive back for the Philadelphia Eagles, takes his generosity as seriously as he does his football.

Vincent funds eight college scholarships while sponsoring boys and girls summer basketball leagues in his hometown of Trenton, NJ. During the holidays, Vincent provides gifts and fund-raising in the thousands of dollars to charities and needy families.

Vincent earned all-America and Big Ten co-Defensive Player of the Year honors as a Badger. He finished second in 1992 for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s top defensive backs.

Jerry Wunsch – UW Football 1993-97

Tampa Bay Buccaneer Jerry Wunsch returns home to Wisconsin every year for his Good Guy deeds. Wunsch, who blocked for four different Wisconsin 1,000-yard rushers in his Badger career, annually brings kids with cancer on a five-day ski trip to his hometown of Wausau, Wis. This year, Wunsch brought 22 children on the trip for skiing, dog sled rides, hot dog roasts and an awards dinner.

Wunsch started the final 36 consecutive games of his college career at right tackle. This Badger offensive lineman takes his place in UW history as a member of the most productive offense in school history and on the third-, fourth-, and fifth-best rushing teams in UW school history.

Some of the above information was compiled from The Sporting News


This article was published Jul 18, 2001 at 12:00 pm and last updated Jul 18, 2001 at 12:00 pm


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