2008–09 NCAA Division I men's basketball season
The 2008–09 NCAA Division I men's basketball season began on November 10, 2008, ended with the 2009 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament's championship game on April 6, 2009, at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. The season saw six different teams achieve the AP #1 ranking during the year. Oklahoma sophomore Blake Griffin was the dominant individual performer, sweeping National Player of the Year honors; the season began with North Carolina becoming the first unanimous preseason #1 team, ended with the Tar Heels dominating the NCAA tournament en route to their fifth NCAA title. UNC won its six NCAA tournament games by double digits, by an average of 19.8 points per game. Junior Wayne Ellington was named Final Four Most Outstanding Player; the North Carolina Tar Heels became the first team in history to be the unanimous #1 team in the AP preseason poll. The ranking came based on UNC returning the majority of their Final Four squad from the year before, most notably Tyler Hansbrough, who became the first reigning National player of the year to return to school since Shaquille O'Neal in the 1991–92 season.
Blake Griffin was named the Associated Press, the John Wooden Award, the Naismith Award and the Sporting News player of the year for the 2008–2009 college basketball season. When combined with Sam Bradford's Heisman Trophy, Oklahoma became the first school to have a top winner in both basketball and football in the same year. Pittsburgh achieved the #1 ranking for the first time in school history on January 5, 2009. On December 18, Tyler Hansbrough passed Phil Ford to become North Carolina's all-time leading scorer. On February 28, Hansbrough broke Dickie Hemric's NCAA record for most free throws made in a career, and on March 19, Hansbrough passed J. J. Redick as the leading scorer in Atlantic Coast Conference history. Jodie Meeks of Kentucky scored 54 points against Tennessee on January 13, 2009. Meeks was 10–15 from 3-pt range; the output broke Kentucky's single-game scoring record, set by Hall of Famer Dan Issel 39 years before. 2009 marked the first time in history that three #1 seeds in the NCAA tournament came from the same conference – as Louisville and Connecticut of the Big East achieved the feat.
Two retired Hall of Fame coaches died during the season – UTEP's Don Haskins on September 7, 2008, California's Pete Newell on November 17, 2008. Newell's Bears won the NCAA championship in 1959, while Haskins' Miners won the title in 1966 in a historic win over Kentucky; the preseason AP All-American team was named on November 3. Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina was the unanimous leading vote-getter; the rest of the team included Stephen Curry of Davidson, Luke Harangody of Notre Dame, Darren Collison of UCLA and Blake Griffin of Oklahoma. Kenny George of UNC Asheville, the tallest player in Division I and the nation's leader in FG% for 2007–08, had part of his right foot amputated before the start of the season, threatening to end his career; the New Jersey Institute of Technology broke a 51-game losing streak that stretched back to February 19, 2007, by defeating Bryant 61–51 on January 21. Travis and Chavis Holmes of VMI became the highest-scoring twins in NCAA Division I history. Ryan Toolson of Utah Valley had the highest single-game scoring mark of the season, netting 63 points in a 123–121 quadruple-overtime win over Chicago State on January 29, 2009.
Chicago State teammates David Holston and John Cantrell each scored over 40 points in the loss. On January 31, Texas's A. J. Abrams hit his 339th 3-point shot, breaking the previous Big 12 record of 338 held by Jeff Boschee of Kansas. In the same game, Kansas State's Denis Clemente tied his former teammate Michael Beasley's Big 12 single-game scoring record, netting 44 points in an 85–81 overtime win for the Wildcats. North Dakota State became the first men's team in Division I or its predecessors to reach the NCAA Tournament in its first year of postseason eligibility since 1972, when Southwestern Louisiana, now Louisiana-Lafayette, accomplished this feat; the Bison reached the "Big Dance" by defeating Oakland in the final of the 2009 Summit League tournament on March 10. Syracuse upset Connecticut, 127–117, in a six-overtime game in the Big East Conference Tournament Quarterfinals that started on March 12 and ended after midnight on March 13, it was the longest game in Big East history, second longest in NCAA Division I history, at 70 total playing minutes.
Davidson guard Stephen Curry, Boston College guard Tyrese Rice, Miami guard Jack McClinton, Florida State guard Toney Douglas, Temple guard Dionte Christmas, UAB guard Robert Vaden, Wyoming guard Brandon Ewing, Chicago State guard David Holston, UTEP guard Stefon Jackson, Central Florida guard Jermaine Taylor, North Dakota State guard Ben Woodside, VMI guard Chavis Holmes, East Tennessee State guard Courtney Pigram and Coppin State guard Tywain McKee each eclipsed the career 2000-point mark during the season. Arkansas State changed its nickname from the "Indians" to the "Red Wolves", effective this season. Bryant University and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville competed at the Division I level for the first time, while Houston Baptist returned to Division I play after a 20-year absence and Seattle after 28 years. Conference realignments: Gardner-Webb moved from the Atlantic Sun Conference to the Big South Conference, while Presbyterian competes in the Big South as well after playing as an independent in 2007–08.
Samford moved from the Ohio Valley Conference to the Southern Conference. Don Meyer passed Bob Knight as the winningest coach in NCAA history, breaking Knight's record of 902 victories. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim led the Orange to 20 wins for the 31st time in a new record. Boeheim had been tie
Indiana Hoosiers men's basketball
The Indiana Hoosiers men's basketball team represents Indiana University in NCAA Division I college basketball and competes in the Big Ten Conference. The Hoosiers play on Branch McCracken Court at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana on the Indiana University Bloomington campus. Indiana has won five NCAA Championships in men's basketball — the first two under coach Branch McCracken and the latter three under Bob Knight. Indiana's 1976 squad remains; the Hoosiers are tied for sixth in NCAA Tournament appearances, seventh in NCAA Tournament victories, tied for eighth in Final Four appearances, 11th in overall victories. The Hoosiers have won 22 Big Ten Conference Championships and have the best winning percentage in conference games at nearly 60 percent. No team has had more All-Big Ten selections than the Hoosiers with 53; the Hoosiers rank seventh in all-time AP poll appearances and sixth in the number of weeks spent ranked No. 1. Every four-year men's basketball letterman since 1973 has earned a trip to the NCAA basketball tournament.
Additionally, every four-year player since 1950 has played on a nationally ranked squad at Indiana. The Hoosiers are among the most storied programs in the history of college basketball. A 2019 study listed Indiana as the fifth most valuable collegiate basketball program in the country. Indiana has ranked in the top 20 nationally in men's basketball attendance every season since Assembly Hall opened in 1972, in the top five. Indiana has two main rivalries including in-state, against the Purdue Boilermakers, out-of-state, against the Kentucky Wildcats Indiana players wear warm-up pants that are striped red and white, like the stripes of a candy cane, they were first worn by the team in the 1970s under head coach Bob Knight. At the time they were in keeping with the fashion trends of the 1970s, but despite changing styles they have since become an iconic part of playing for Indiana. IU star guard Steve Alford said, "As you watch television and you watch the IU games, that's the first thing you saw, was the team run out in the candy stripes.
So when you got to put those on, those are pretty special." Rusty Stillions, Director of Indiana's Equipment Operations, said the pants were available only for team members. However, changes in licensing agreements permitted the general public to buy them as well, they have since become a staple at other Indiana basketball events. The team is noted for their simple game jerseys. Unlike most schools, Indiana doesn't have players' names on the back of jerseys that players wear on the court; the notion behind the nameless jerseys is that players play for the team name on the front, not the individual's name on the back. In keeping with Indiana's longstanding principle of putting team over player, the Hoosiers have never retired any jersey numbers. Adidas is the current outfitter of Indiana athletics; when coach Mike Davis succeeded Bob Knight, he suggested adding names to the jerseys. However, the Hoosiers' minimalist look had become such a part of the program's brand that the proposal was dropped after considerable backlash from fans.
Despite the long tradition behind the jerseys, they have undergone some slight changes over the years. The school's colors are cream and crimson, but in the 1970s Knight and football coach Lee Corso started using uniforms that were more scarlet or bright red. During the same time, cream gave way universally to white, but those colors reverted to cream and crimson in the early 2000s, after then-athletics director Michael McNeely decided that the team uniforms needed to reflect the school's official colors of cream and crimson. During the third time-out of every second half, the Indiana Big Red Basketball Band performs the William Tell Overture with cheerleaders racing around the court carrying myriad flags that spell out "Indiana Hoosiers." Indiana Assistant Director for Facilities, Chuck Crabb, said the tradition began in about 1979 or 1980. Sportscaster Billy Packer called it "the greatest college timeout in the country." In 1971, Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance became the sole sponsor of Indiana and Purdue games on WTTV.
During the mid-1970s, the State Farm Indiana Legends ads included a lady named "Martha" sweeping the floors of Assembly Hall while whistling and singing the school's fight song, "Indiana, Our Indiana." It ran as the introduction to Indiana basketball broadcasts for 30 years. Upon Indiana's firing of Bob Knight, Farm Bureau pulled the ad. In 2009 new coach Tom Crean resurrected the tradition and had "Martha" appear at the "Midnight Madness" festivities to begin the season; because the actress who had appeared in the original ads was unavailable, singer Sheila Stephen stepped in as the new Martha. Starting with the 2010–11 season, video of the original ad was shown at home games after the National Anthem and right before tip off. In recent years, the ad has been shown. Indiana fielded its first men's basketball team in the 1900–01 season, posting a 1–4 ledger under coach James H. Horne. In their first game the Hoosiers traveled to Indianapolis and lost to Butler 17–20. Indiana's first victory was a 26–17 win over Wabash College that same year.
In 1917 the Hoosiers began playing their games at the Men's Gymnasium. After the first few games there, spectators complained that they couldn't see the game because of opaque wooden backboards. Therefore, new backboards were installed that contained one-and-a-half inch thick plate glass allowing fans to see games without an obstructed view; as a result, it was the first facility in the country to use glass b
2005–06 NCAA Division I men's basketball season
The 2005–06 NCAA Division I men's basketball season began on November 6, 2005, progressed through the regular season and conference tournaments, concluded with the 2006 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament Championship Game on April 3, 2006, at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Florida Gators won their first NCAA national championship with a 73–56 victory over the UCLA Bruins; this was the final Final Four site at the RCA Dome. The Final Four will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium; the University of Florida won its first national title in basketball, defeating UCLA in the championship game 73–57. The team was led by a group of sophomores, several of whom were the offspring of retired professional athletes, nicknamed "The Oh-fours." Forward Al Horford and guard Taurean Green were the sons of former NBA players, while center and Final Four MOP Joakim Noah was the son of retired tennis pro Yannick Noah. These three surprised many by choosing not to enter the NBA Draft, but instead returning to try to repeat as champions in 2006–07.
George Mason made an improbable run to the Final Four, becoming the first true mid-major to do so since Penn in 1979. The Patriots’ path was not easy, as they defeated schools that had won three of the past six titles – national powers Michigan State, North Carolina and Connecticut – en route to its first Final Four berth. J. J. Redick of Duke and Adam Morrison of Gonzaga engaged in a year-long battle for the National scoring title and Player of the Year honors. Morrison won the scoring race. However, Redick won most National POY Awards, though he and Morrison were the first co-winners of the 2006 Oscar Robertson Trophy. Paul Millsap of Louisiana Tech became the first player to lead the Nation in rebounding for three consecutive years. A major realignment of teams in the Big East and ACC sent shock waves across college basketball. Boston College followed Virginia Tech and Miami from the Big East to the ACC; the Big East brought in five teams from Conference USA – Cincinnati, DePaul, Louisville and South Florida.
To replace the teams that defected to the Big East, Conference USA brought in six new members: Rice, SMU, Tulsa and UTEP from the Western Athletic Conference. Other conference realignments effective this season: The WAC added New Mexico State and Utah State. East Tennessee State moved from the Southern Conference to the Atlantic Sun; the Colonial Athletic Association added Northeastern from the America East Conference and Georgia State from the Atlantic Sun. Troy moved from the Atlantic Sun to the Sun Belt Conference; the preseason AP All-American team was named on November 8. J. J. Redick of Duke was the leading vote-getter; the rest of the team included Shelden Williams of Duke, Dee Brown of Illinois, Adam Morrison of Gonzaga and Craig Smith of Boston College. The top 25 from the AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls November 7, 2005; these schools joined new conferences for the 2005–06 season. Thirty conference seasons conclude with a single-elimination tournament. Traditionally, all conference schools are eligible, regardless of record.
However, some conferences, most notably the Big East, do not invite the teams with the worst records. The conference tournament winner receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. A school that wins the conference regular season title is guaranteed an NIT bid; the NCAA Tournament tipped off on March 14, 2006 with the opening round game in Dayton and concluded on April 3 at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana. A total of 65 teams entered the tournament. Thirty of the teams earned automatic bids by winning their conference tournaments; the automatic bid of the Ivy League, which does not conduct a post-season tournament, went to its regular season champion. The remaining 34 teams were granted "at-large" bids, which are extended by the NCAA Selection Committee; the Big East Conference led the way with eight bids. Florida won their first NCAA title. Florida forward Joakim Noah was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. A-Atlanta, O-Oakland, W-Washington, D. C. M-Minneapolis. After the NCAA Tournament field was announced, the National Invitation Tournament invited 32 teams to participate, reducing the field's size from 40.
Eight teams were given automatic bids for winning their conference regular seasons, 24 other teams were invited. Dave Odom's South Carolina Gamecocks won their second consecutive title, defeating the Tommy Amaker-coached Michigan Wolverines 76–64 in the championship game. Gamecock forward Renaldo Balkman was named tournament MVP. Wooden Award: J. J. Redick, Duke Naismith Award: J. J. Redick, Duke Associated Press Player of the Year: J. J. Redick, Duke NABC Player of the Year: J. J. Redick and Adam Morrison, Gonzaga Oscar Robertson Trophy: J. J. Redick and Adam Morrison, Gonzaga Adolph Rupp Trophy: J. J. Redick, Duke CBS/Chevrolet Player of the Year: J. J. Redick, Duke Sporting News Player of the Year: J. J. Redick, Duke USBWA Freshman of the Year: Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina Sporting News Freshman of the Year: Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina Associated Press Coach of the Year: Jay Wright, Villanova Henry Iba Award: Roy Williams, North Carolina NABC Coach of the Y
2006–07 NCAA Division I men's basketball season
The 2006–07 NCAA Division I men's basketball season began on November 7, 2006, progressed through the regular season and conference tournaments, concluded with the 2007 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament Championship Game on April 2, 2007 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia. The Florida Gators defended their national championship with an 84–75 victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes; the Florida Gators defended their National Championship, becoming the first team in 15 years to win consecutive titles. The Gators became the first team to win both the NCAA football and basketball championships during the same academic year; the Gators' Lee Humphrey broke Bobby Hurley's NCAA tournament record for three-pointers. Humphrey hit 55 threes in 14 games over his career, it was the year of the freshman as Texas' Kevin Durant became the first freshman to be named National player of the year. Meanwhile, Ohio State's Greg Oden was an AP first-team All-American, as well as National defensive player of the year.
Texas Tech coach Bob Knight won his 880th game in a 70–68 win over New Mexico on January 1, 2006. The win moved Knight ahead of Dean Smith for the most career coaching wins in Division I history. Florida coach Billy Donovan made headlines as he accepted the Orlando Magic head coaching job, only to return to the Gators. Five Duquesne players were shot and injured at an altercation following a campus dance party on September 17, 2006. Coach Ron Everhart drew praise from the media and coaching community as he brought the team together after the tragedy. Two players broke the NCAA Division I career free throw percentage record, held by Villanova's Gary Buchanan since 2004. Blake Ahearn of Missouri State became the new record-holder, finishing his career with a 94.6%. Derek Raivio of Gonzaga finished second in Division I history at 92.7%. Alabama A&M's Mickell Gladness broke the NCAA single-game blocked shot record, swatting 16 shots in a February 24 game against Texas Southern; the previous record had been 14, held by four players.
The preseason AP All-American team was named on November 8. Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina was the leading vote-getter; the rest of the team included Joakim Noah of Florida, Ronald Steele of Alabama, Glen Davis of LSU and Brandon Rush of Kansas. Wisconsin's Alando Tucker, Boston College's Jared Dudley, Nevada's Nick Fazekas, Albany's Jamar Wilson, Jackson State's Trey Johnson, San Diego State's Brandon Heath, Texas Tech's Jarius Jackson, Hofstra's Loren Stokes, Liberty's Larry Blair, Towson's Gary Neal all eclipsed the career 2000-point mark during the season. Oral Roberts had a pair of teammates – Caleb Green and Ken Tutt – both reach the career 2000-point milestone during the season. Jackson State's Trey Johnson had the highest single-game scoring output of the season, scoring 49 points in a game against UTEP on December 22, 2006. Winston-Salem State and NJIT moved up to Division I competition. Conference realignments: Chicago State moved out of the Mid-Continent Conference and became independent.
Florida Atlantic moved from the Atlantic Sun Conference to the Sun Belt Conference. Northern Colorado joined the Big Sky Conference after being independent. Central Arkansas and Texas A&M – Corpus Christi joined the Southland Conference. TAMU-CC had been independent while Central Arkansas moved up to division I. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Austin Carr, Dick Groat, Dick Barnett, Adolph Rupp, Lefty Driesell, Phog Allen, Guy Lewis, John McLendon, Norm Stewart and Vic Bubas were inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame. Beginning in 2006–2007, the following rules changes were implemented: Players can no longer call a time out while they are in the air; the top 25 from the AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls, November 6, 2006: These schools joined new conferences for the 2006–07 season. 30 conference seasons conclude with a single-elimination tournament. Traditionally, all conference schools are eligible, regardless of record. However, some conferences, most notably the Big East, do not invite the teams with the worst records.
The conference tournament winner receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. A school that wins the conference regular season title is guaranteed an NIT bid; the NCAA Tournament tipped off on March 13, 2007 with the opening round game in Dayton and concluded on April 2 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia. A total of 65 teams entered the tournament. Thirty of the teams earned automatic bids by winning their conference tournaments; the automatic bid of the Ivy League, which does not conduct a post-season tournament, went to its regular season champion. The remaining 34 teams were granted "at-large" bids, which are extended by the NCAA Selection Committee; the Atlantic Coast Conference led the way with seven bids, while the Big East, Big Ten and Pac-10 each placed six teams in the field. Florida defended their title, beating Ohio State 84–75 in the final and becoming the first team since the 1991–92 Duke Blue Devils to repeat as champions. Florida swingman Corey Brewer was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, while guard Lee Humphrey broke the career NCAA Tournament record for three-pointers made.
After the NCAA Tournament field was announced, the National Invitation Tournament invited 32 teams to participate, reducing the field's size from 40. Eight teams were given automatic bids for winning their conference regular seasons, 24 other teams were invited; the field came from 18 conferences, with the Big East and Southeastern Conference tying for the most teams invited with four. For the first time since the NIT began seeding teams, all four No. 1 seeds reached the final four. John Beilein's
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws; the team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play is mandated. Players advance the ball by bouncing it while walking or running or by passing it to a teammate, both of which require considerable skill. On offense, players may use a variety of shots -- a dunk, it is a violation to lift or drag one's pivot foot without dribbling the ball, to carry it, or to hold the ball with both hands resume dribbling.
The five players on each side at a time fall into five playing positions: the tallest player is the center, the tallest and strongest is the power forward, a shorter but more agile big man is the small forward, the shortest players or the best ball handlers are the shooting guard and the point guard, who implements the coach's game plan by managing the execution of offensive and defensive plays. Informally, players may play three-on-three, two-on-two, one-on-one. Invented in 1891 by Canadian-American gym teacher James Naismith in Springfield, United States, basketball has evolved to become one of the world's most popular and viewed sports; the National Basketball Association is the most significant professional basketball league in the world in terms of popularity, salaries and level of competition. Outside North America, the top clubs from national leagues qualify to continental championships such as the Euroleague and FIBA Americas League; the FIBA Basketball World Cup and Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament are the major international events of the sport and attract top national teams from around the world.
Each continent hosts regional competitions for national teams, like FIBA AmeriCup. The FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup and Women's Olympic Basketball Tournament feature top national teams from continental championships; the main North American league is the WNBA, whereas strongest European clubs participate in the EuroLeague Women. In early December 1891, Canadian James Naismith, a physical education professor and instructor at the International Young Men's Christian Association Training School in Springfield, was trying to keep his gym class active on a rainy day, he sought a vigorous indoor game to keep his students occupied and at proper levels of fitness during the long New England winters. After rejecting other ideas as either too rough or poorly suited to walled-in gymnasiums, he wrote the basic rules and nailed a peach basket onto a 10-foot elevated track. In contrast with modern basketball nets, this peach basket retained its bottom, balls had to be retrieved manually after each "basket" or point scored.
Basketball was played with a soccer ball. These round balls from "association football" were made, at the time, with a set of laces to close off the hole needed for inserting the inflatable bladder after the other sewn-together segments of the ball's cover had been flipped outside-in; these laces could dribbling to be unpredictable. A lace-free ball construction method was invented, this change to the game was endorsed by Naismith; the first balls made for basketball were brown, it was only in the late 1950s that Tony Hinkle, searching for a ball that would be more visible to players and spectators alike, introduced the orange ball, now in common use. Dribbling was not part of the original game except for the "bounce pass" to teammates. Passing the ball was the primary means of ball movement. Dribbling was introduced but limited by the asymmetric shape of early balls. Dribbling was common by 1896, with a rule against the double dribble by 1898; the peach baskets were used until 1906 when they were replaced by metal hoops with backboards.
A further change was soon made, so the ball passed through. Whenever a person got the ball in the basket, his team would gain a point. Whichever team got; the baskets were nailed to the mezzanine balcony of the playing court, but this proved impractical when spectators in the balcony began to interfere with shots. The backboard was introduced to prevent this interference. Naismith's handwritten diaries, discovered by his granddaughter in early 2006, indicate that he was nervous about the new game he had invented, which incorporated rules from a children's game called duck on a rock, as many had failed before it. Frank Mahan, one of the players from the original
Ned Dixon "Dickie" Hemric was an American collegiate and professional basketball player for Wake Forest University and the NBA's Boston Celtics. Hemric played the first two college years at Wake Forest when the school was a member of the Southern Conference; the Atlantic Coast Conference Male Athlete of the Year was created at the start of the 1954 season, he played his last two seasons in the ACC, setting conference records for scoring and rebounding that were untouched for the first 50 years of the conference's existence. He was honored as the second recipient of the ACC Athlete of the Year in 1955. In 2002 Hemric was selected to the ACC 50th Anniversary men's basketball team, honoring the fifty greatest players in ACC history. Hemric's ACC scoring record of 2,587 points was untouched from 1956 until it was broken in 2006 by Duke University's J. J. Redick and in 2009 by Tyler Hansbrough of the University of North Carolina. Hemric held the NCAA record for free throws made in a career with 905 for 54 years until it was passed by Hansbrough.
Hemric still holds the Division I record for most free throw attempts in a career. Hemric's ACC record of 1,802 career rebounds may never face a serious challenge - for four decades the nearest runner-up was his contemporary Ronnie Shavlik, now third on the list with 1,567 rebounds from 1954 to 1956. Second is legendary NBA power forward Tim Duncan, who pulled down 1,570 rebounds at Wake Forest from 1994 to 1997. With most of today's elite ACC players leaving for the NBA before completing four seasons, it is difficult to project a scenario in which Hemric's record could be broken. Nationally Hemric is still fifth all-time in Division I career rebounds. Hemric died on August 3, 2017 at his home in North Canton, Ohio nearly four weeks shy of his 84th birthday. List of NCAA Division I men's basketball career free throw scoring leaders List of NCAA Division I men's basketball career rebounding leaders List of NCAA Division I men's basketball players with 2000 points and 1000 rebounds
William Warren Bradley is an American politician and former professional basketball player. He served three terms as a Democratic U. S. Senator from New Jersey, he ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic Party's nomination for president in the 2000 election. Bradley was raised in Crystal City, Missouri, a small town 45 miles south of St. Louis, he excelled at basketball from an early age. He was an all-county and all-state basketball player in high school, he declined them all to attend Princeton University. He earned a gold medal as a member of the 1964 Olympic basketball team and was the NCAA Player of the Year in 1965, when Princeton finished third in the NCAA Tournament. After graduating in 1965, he attended Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, delaying a decision for two years on whether or not to play in the National Basketball Association. While at Oxford, Bradley played one season of professional basketball in Europe, decided to join the New York Knicks in the 1967–68 season, after serving six months in the Air Force Reserve.
He spent his entire ten-year professional basketball career playing for the Knicks, winning two championship titles. Retiring in 1977, he ran for a seat in the United States Senate the following year, from his adopted home state of New Jersey, he was re-elected in 1984 and 1990, left the Senate in 1997, was an unsuccessful candidate for the 2000 Democratic presidential nomination. Bradley is the author of seven non-fiction books, most We Can All Do Better, hosts a weekly radio show, American Voices, on Sirius Satellite Radio, he is a corporate director of Starbucks and a partner at investment bank Allen & Company in New York City. Bradley is a member of the ReFormers Caucus of Issue One, he serves on that group's Advisory Board. In 2008 Bradley was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame. Bradley was born on July 28, 1943 in Crystal City, the only child of Warren, who despite leaving high school after a year had become a bank president, Susan "Susie" Bradley, a teacher and former high school-basketball player.
Politicians and politics were standard dinner-table topics in Bradley's childhood, he described his father as a "solid Republican", an elector for Thomas E. Dewey in the 1948 presidential election. An active Boy Scout, he became member of the Order of the Arrow. Bradley began playing basketball at the age of nine, he was a star at Crystal City High School, where he scored 3,068 points in his scholastic career, was twice named All-American, was elected to the Missouri Association of Student Councils. He received 75 college scholarship offers, although he applied to only five schools and only scored a 485 out of 800 on the Verbal portion of the SAT, which—despite being in the top third of all test takers that year—normally would have caused selective schools like Princeton University to reject him. Bradley's basketball ability benefited from his height—5'9" in the 7th grade, 6'1" in the 8th grade, his adult size of 6'5" by the age of 15—and unusually wide peripheral vision, which he worked to improve by focusing on faraway objects while walking.
During his high school years, Bradley maintained a rigorous practice schedule, a habit he carried through college. He would work on the court for "three and a half hours every day after school, nine to five on Saturday, one-thirty to five on Sunday, and, in the summer, about three hours a day, he put ten pounds of lead slivers in his sneakers, set up chairs as opponents and dribbled in a slalom fashion around them, wore eyeglass frames that had a piece of cardboard taped to them so that he could not see the floor, for "a good dribbler never looks at the ball." Bradley was considered to be the top high school basketball player in the country. He chose to attend Duke in the fall of 1961. However, after breaking his foot in the summer of 1961 during a baseball game and thinking about his college decision outside of basketball, Bradley decided to enroll at Princeton due to its record in preparing students for government or United States Foreign Service work, he had been awarded a scholarship at Duke, but not at Princeton.
Bradley's childhood hero Dick Kazmaier had won the Heisman Trophy at Princeton, he wore #42 in his honor. In his freshman year, Bradley averaged more than 30 points per game for the freshman team, at one point making 57 consecutive free throws, breaking a record set by a member of the NBA's Syracuse Nationals; the following year, as a sophomore, he was a varsity starter in Butch van Breda Kolff's first year as coach of the Tigers. In his sophomore year Bradley scored 40 points in an 82–81 loss to St. Joseph's and was named to The Sporting News All-American first team in early 1963; the coach of the St. Louis Hawks believed; the AP and United Press International polls both put Bradley on the second team, establishing him as the top sophomore player in the country. The following year The Sporting News again named him to its All-American team as its only junior, as its player of the year. At the Olympic basketball trials in April 1964, Bradley played guard instead of his usual forward position but was still a top performer.
He was one of three chosen unanimously for the Olympic team, the youngest chosen, the only undergraduate. The Olympic team won its sixth consecutive gold medal; as a senior and team captain in the 1964–1965 season, Bradley became a household name. Only the third tallest on his team, b