November 4, 2013

The NBRPA offers its condolences to the family of former NBA player Walt Bellamy, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, who passed away at the age of 74.

Bellamy – a 6-foot-11 center from New Bern, NC, – began his impressive basketball career at Indiana University, where he averaged a school-record 15.5 rebounds per game over the span of his 70-game career. He also averaged 20.6 points per game and shot 51.7 percent from the floor during his college career. Bellamy was twice named All-American at Indiana and started at center for the gold-medal winning United States Olympic team in 1960.

Following Bellamy’s outstanding collegiate career, he was chosen as the first overall pick in the 1961 NBA draft by the Chicago Packers. During his 1962 season with the Packers he was named NBA Rookie of the Year, averaging 31.6 points  and 19 rebounds per game. With that dominant rookie campaign, Bellamy became not only the first Hoosier chosen as the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, but also the first Hoosier to be named NBA Rookie of the Year.

Bellamy finished his NBA career with 20,941 points and 14,241 rebounds, making the All-Star team four times. Bellamy played 14 seasons for the Packers/Zephyrs, Baltimore Bullets, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawks, and New Orleans Jazz. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.