Charlie Ward: The New York Knicks’ Heisman Trophy Winner


With the NFL Super Bowl XLIX on everybody’s mind, here at Daily Knicks, we take a look back at someone who excelled in both football and basketball.

All die-hard Knicks fans should know of Charlie Ward Jr. and have fond memories of his decade long career with New York. Ward was a key contributor and role player in New York’s run to the 1999 NBA Finals.

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Ward was the 26th overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft, averaging 6.5 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 4.2 assist in his Knicks’ career. With so many fond memories, mid-way through his tenth season, Ward was part of a blockbuster trade that brings back some not so fond memories… Ward was dealt to the Phoenix Suns as part of the Stephon Marbury homecoming trade that would eventually haunt the Knick’s in the years to come. Ward though would be immediately waived by Phoenix, but shortly soon after would be signed by the same nemesis that defeated New York in the 1999 NBA Finals, the San Antonio Spurs.

These two quotes best summed up Ward’s NBA career.

But before Ward played basketball professionally, Ward played both basketball and football collegiality for the Florida State Seminoles. Ward’s collegiate basketball career averages were 8.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, 4.4 assist, and 2.6 steals. Ward had a QB Rating of 141.4 in his collegiate football career, with 49 total touchdowns and 5,747 total passing yards. Ward’s name has to be mentioned when you talk about two sport star athletics, right up there with Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders.

Charlie Ward was a multiple star athlete growing up, playing all sorts of sporting activities.

"“But stories of Ward’s athletic prowess extend beyond even the hardwood and the gridiron. Despite never playing an inning of baseball at Florida State, Ward was drafted twice by the Major Leagues in 1993 and 1994. In 1994 the New York Yankees took him in the 18th round. He also was an avid tennis player, going deep into the 1994 Arthurt Ashe amateur tennis tournament. “–Patrik Nohe “FSU All-Time Countdown- No. 2- Charlie Ward” Miami Herald"

In 1993 Charlie Ward won the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award, and James E. Sullivan Award as the quarterback for Florida State University. Ward led the Seminoles to a 12-1 record, winning the National Championship Game (Orange Bowl) 18-16. Ward was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006, and was inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame in 2012 (catch up with Ward below).

Since retiring, Ward has decided to pass on what he learned to the next generation, having served as an assistant coach for the Westbury Christian School varsity boys’ basketball team, as per Florida State University. Recently, Ward moved on to take the head coaching position of his son’s school, Booker T. Washington High School.

"“During my career, I thought I wasn’t a coach or wouldn’t be able to teach people the things I had been successful doing because I thought what had made me successful was talent and instinct,” “The more I got involved with coaching the more I saw all the things I had learned from my coaches – whether work effort, discipline or whatever – that took me over the top. And I started teaching young kids the same way.”coaches – whether work effort, discipline or whatever – that took me over the top. And I started teaching young kids the same way.” – Charlie Ward"

We leave you with great featured short film on Charlie Ward Jr., featuring a Q&A with Charlie Ward Sr.