Hoosier Legends: The Ten Best Basketball Players from Indiana University

Indiana University (IU) has a storied basketball tradition, producing numerous talented players who have left an indelible mark on the sport.

These players not only achieved greatness on the hardwood but also embodied the values and spirit of the Hoosier state. Let’s delve into their remarkable journeys and celebrate their contributions to the sport.

  1. Isiah Thomas: Considered one of the greatest point guards of all time, Isiah Thomas played for Indiana University from 1979 to 1981. A key figure in the Hoosiers’ 1981 national championship victory, Thomas showcased his exceptional court vision and leadership skills. With an impressive average of 16.0 points, 5.8 assists, and 4.6 rebounds per game in college, Thomas transitioned to the NBA, where he led the Detroit Pistons to two NBA titles and earned 12 All-Star selections.
  2. Walt Bellamy: A dominant force in the paint, Walt Bellamy played for Indiana University from 1958 to 1961. His college career was marked by remarkable consistency, averaging 20.6 points and 15.5 rebounds per game. Bellamy went on to have a successful NBA career, earning the Rookie of the Year award in 1962 and being selected as an All-Star in four seasons. His scoring prowess and rebounding abilities made him a force to be reckoned with.
  3. Calbert Cheaney: Calbert Cheaney, a versatile shooting guard, left an indelible mark on Indiana University basketball from 1989 to 1993. With an unmatched scoring ability, Cheaney became the Big Ten Conference’s all-time leading scorer with 2,613 points. A three-time All-American, he averaged an impressive 22.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game in his college career. Cheaney enjoyed a successful NBA tenure, known for his perimeter shooting and strong defensive skills.
  4. Scott May: Scott May, a member of the legendary 1976 undefeated Hoosiers team, played for Indiana University from 1973 to 1976. Known for his versatility and scoring prowess, May averaged 17.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per game in his college career. His exceptional play led the Hoosiers to an NCAA championship, where he earned the Most Outstanding Player award. May’s impact in college translated into a solid NBA career, although injuries hampered his full potential.
  5. George McGinnis: A standout forward at Indiana University from 1969 to 1971, George McGinnis possessed an extraordinary blend of size, strength, and skill. A two-time All-American, McGinnis averaged an impressive 29.9 points and 14.9 rebounds per game during his college career. He showcased his dominance in the NBA as well, earning two All-Star selections and leading the Indiana Pacers to three ABA championships.
  6. Steve Alford: Steve Alford, known for his deadly shooting touch, played for Indiana University from 1983 to 1987. As the Hoosiers’ primary scoring option, Alford averaged 19.5 points per game in his college career and showcased his clutch performances in big moments. He helped Indiana win the 1987 NCAA championship and went on to have a successful professional career, primarily in Europe.
  7. Cody Zeller: Cody Zeller, a skilled big man, represented Indiana University from 2011 to 2013. Known for his athleticism and basketball IQ, Zeller averaged 16.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in college. His impact in the NBA has been notable, displaying his versatility as a center for the Charlotte Hornets and establishing himself as a reliable scorer and rebounder.
  8. A.J. Guyton: A.J. Guyton, a standout guard at Indiana University from 1996 to 2000, left an indelible mark with his scoring prowess. Guyton became the Hoosiers’ all-time leading scorer with 2,100 points and averaged 19.7 points per game in his college career. Although his NBA career was brief, Guyton’s offensive skills and three-point shooting ability are still fondly remembered.
  9. Alan Henderson: Alan Henderson, a versatile forward, played for Indiana University from 1991 to 1995. Known for his rebounding prowess and defensive skills, Henderson averaged 14.2 points and 8.8 rebounds per game in college. He enjoyed a solid NBA career, primarily with the Atlanta Hawks, showcasing his rebounding abilities and becoming a respected veteran in the league.
  10. Don Schlundt: Don Schlundt, an influential figure in Indiana University’s basketball history, played from 1951 to 1955. With a remarkable scoring touch, Schlundt became the Hoosiers’ all-time leading scorer with 2,192 points. His offensive exploits earned him a spot in the All-American team. While Schlundt did not have an extensive NBA career, his impact on the college game cannot be understated.

The ten basketball players from Indiana University highlighted in this article represent the epitome of excellence, skill, and determination. They left an indelible mark on the college game, propelling Indiana University to numerous victories and championships. Their successes in the NBA further solidified their status as basketball legends. From Isiah Thomas to Don Schlundt, these players will forever be celebrated for their contributions to the sport, reminding us of the rich basketball heritage that Indiana University continues to uphold.

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