It’s been awhile since we delved into the NC State history books and featured one of the Jerseys in the Rafters. In the past we have done features on Dick Dickey, Sammy Ranzinoand Bobby Speight, who all have their jerseys hanging in the rafters in the RBC Center. It is our goal to do a write-up on every player that has a jersey hanging in the rafters. Picking up where we left off, next up is Ronnie Shavlik.
Ronnie Shavlik is without a doubt, one of the most successful players to ever play basketball for NC State. The Wolfpack won ACC Championships in all three of his varsity seasons (’54, ’55, ’56). The 6’8″ Center came to Raleigh from Denver, Colorado, to play for NC State coach Everett Case.
While Shavlik was a prolific scorer, he made his reputation on the boards. He managed to rack up 1,598 rebounds in his 3 varsity seasons, which is the highest mark in NC State history for a career, and the second highest total in ACC history. To highlight the extreme nature of Shavlik’s career rebound total, Tommy Burleson ranks in second place in NC State history with 1,066. Shavlik actually holds the ACC record for the most rebounds in a single season, bringing down 581 rebounds in 1955 (19.5 rebounds per game). The standout center averaged 16.8 rebounds per game over his three year career, which of course, is another NC State record. In a game against Villanova in 1955, Shavlik notched another mark in the NC State record books when he ended the game with 35 rebounds.
Just because Shavlik was one of the best rebounders in ACC history, does not mean that he was a one dimensional player by any stretch of the imagination. David Thompson might hold the school record for the most points scored in a single game, but Shavlik produced the 2nd and 3rd highest totals in school history. In the same game that he pulled down 35 rebounds against Villanova in 1955, he also scored 49 points (3rd highest point total in a single game), which also happens to be the highest point total scored by an individual in an away game. His finest hour came in 1954, scoring 55 points against William & Mary (2nd highest point total in a single game). Shavlik scored 1,761 points in his career, which is the 7th most points scored by a player in NC State history.
Shavlik didn’t waste anytime gaining the attention of the coaches and media surrounding him. In his first season on the varsity squad, Shavlik was the MVP of the Dixie Classic and also earned 1st Team All-ACC Tournament honors as well. In his Junior season, he earned the MVP honors of the Dixie Classic for the second consecutive year. Shavlik was also named the MVP of the ACC tournament. To top things off, the Junior added 1st Team All-ACC and 2nd Team All-American to his trophy case as well. Ronnie’s senior season was the pinnacle of his collegiate career, earning 1st Team All-ACC, NCAA All-Regional Team, 1st Team All-American and ACC Player of the Year honors. Ronnie is one of only 10 players in NC State history to be a two time All-ACC selection. He went on to be the 4th overall pick in the 1956 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks.
1954 – 15.5 points and 13.5 rebounds.
1955 – 22.1 points and 18.2 rebounds.
1956 – 18.2 points and 19.5 rebounds.