This is the first of a new weekly segment called "Countdown," in which The Eagle sports staff will list the "Top 10" of a particular issue. Many of the topics will deal with AU sports; others will touch on college athletics and professional sports.

This week's debut counts down the "Top 10 Sports Figures Who Went to College Inside the Beltway."

Here's the list:

10. Dikembe Mutombo - The Georgetown grad has had a super NBA career and has made great strides in his native Nigeria.

9. Mike Patrick - George Washington's Patrick has become a staple on ESPN's Sunday Night Football and ESPN Radio.

8. Boomer Esiason - The steady NFL quarterback from Maryland led the Cincinnati Bengals to two Super Bowls and is one of the greatest guys in sports. He's currently a commentator on CBS' NFL Today.

7. Kermit Washington - AU's finest basketball player ever had a steady, if not spectacular NBA career. He's the only man to have his number retired by AU.

6. Taylor Twellman - The MLS star went to Maryland before landing with the New England Revolution and leading the MLS in scoring.

5. Alonzo Mourning - The former Georgetown star was an All-Star with the Charlotte Hornets and Miami Heat before kidney disease plagued his last two years. He is currently making a comeback with the New Jersey Nets. In his prime, he was one of the best centers in NBA history.

4. David Aldridge - With his signature voice and smile, the AU grad has become ESPN's top basketball consultant. His success helped open doors for African-Americans on TV.

3. Patrick Ewing - One of Georgetown's best players ever starred for years with the New York Knicks. If he had won that elusive NBA Championship, he'd probably be No. 1 on this list. Now, he's Yao Ming's mentor as an assistant coach with the Houston Rockets.

2. Allen Iverson - The Georgetown grad was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft and has been a superstar for the Philadelphia '76ers from day one. He led them to the NBA Finals in 2000 and remains one of the league's most dominant scorers. His reputation has tarnished his image, but there's no denying his ability.

1. Red Auerbach - The man with the most NBA Championships (10) is often regarded as the greatest coach in NBA history. He got his start at GWU in the late 1930s and changed the game more than anyone. He's got the most recognizable ritual with his signature cigar smoking after victories.

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