In 1978, Larry Bird was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the first round. The Celtics Organization gambled on the youngster from French Lick. He was the sixth overall draft pick. Larry was drafted as a college student, attending Indiana State University. Despite being drafted into a professional basketball career opportunity, Larry went on to complete his senior year and continued to play basketball at the college level. The Celtics retained the right for him to join the team the following year. After being awarded several national collegiate basketball awards, Larry Bird relocated to Boston in 1979.
Walter Bellamy was a 6’11” athletic sensation. The ultimate highlight and recognition of Walt Bellamy’s professional basketball career came before he ever set foot on an NBA basketball court. Walt Bellamy was a member of the United States Olympic team that participated in the Olympic Games in 1960. Bellamy was the starting center for the undefeated team and he was awarded the gold medal for his efforts.
In 1985, the New York Knicks selected a player from Georgetown University as their first pick in the first round. Positioning Patrick Ewing at center was a great investment for the Knicks Organization. Ewing injured his knee and sat out 32 games during his rookie year, but even with this setback, he logged 1,771 minutes of playing time during his first season and earned Rookie of the Year honors. This was a feat by no other rookie on the Knicks team since the 1964-65 season, when Willis Reed was named Rookie of the Year. Recovering nicely, Ewing’s total minutes played each season for the Knicks skyrocketed as his career continued. At the end of his fifth season, he had been on the court 3,127 minutes during the season playing a vital role in the outcome of each game that year.