Fennis Dembo (Wyoming Cowboys) - Easily my favorite basketball name of all-time. Fennis Dembo led Wyoming to the Sweet 16 in 1987 in his junior year with a series of bravura performances. He was the leading scorer in the tournament that year, averaging 27.8 points per game including a 41 point outburst against UCLA in the second round. A game in which he verbally bitch-slapped Reggie Miller to the point of tears. I believe he is still the leading scorer in the history of the Cowboy's basketball program.
I watched an awful lot of games on ESPN back then and I saw Dembo play quite a bit that season. Plus I watched him and his Cowboys make a run to the NIT finals the year before, I believe. Loved his game. Big, strong kid listed at 6'5" or 6'6" (I think he was closer to 6'3"), his forte was his inside game. That strength didn't translate into a long NBA career, unfortunately.
He played one year with the Pistons (and won a championship) in 1989 after being drafted in the second round the year before, but he was released soon after the season ended. Not fast enough to play small forward and not big enough to play power forward. A classic "tweener". He played abroad for a while and in the CBA after that, but never made it back the big league. But there are those of us who will always remember his antics, his power and his love of the game back in the late 80's. Fennis Dembo was a special player.
Oh, and his name? He and his twin sister were number 10 and 11 for his mother. Either she or his oldest sister wanted that to be it, so they decided to use variations of the French word for "final", "finis", for the two of them. So he was named Fennis and his twin sister was named Fenise. Makes sense to me.
Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. All the best Cowboys have Chinese eyes.