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Nelson to be inducted into Naismith Hall of Fame

Posted on 02. Apr, 2012 by in Iowa Basketball


By Brendan Stiles


Former Iowa men’s basketball player Don Nelson will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 7 in Springfield, Mass. The announcement came Monday, as Nelson will be one of 12 inductees representing this year’s Hall of Fame class.

Nelson, who played at Iowa from 1959-62, is the Hawkeyes’ 11th all-time leading scorer with 1,522 career points (which was the school record before being initially broken by Ronnie Lester). He’s also one of only four Iowa players to ever average over 20 points per game throughout his career.

Then came his illustrious tenure in the NBA as both a player and coach. As a player, he won five championships with the Boston Celtics and his #19 hangs from the rafters of TD Garden in Boston. As a head coach, Nelson won 1,335 games, which is an NBA record. He surpassed Lenny Wilkens as the league’s all-time winningest coach on April 7, 2010 when the Golden State Warriors defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves, 116-107.

Nelson coached the Warriors on two occasions, as well as the Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks over the course of 31 NBA seasons.

Among those in the 2012 class along with Nelson are former Indiana Pacers guard Reggie Miller, former Virginia center Ralph Sampson, former Warrior and Los Angeles Laker forward Jamaal Wilkes, and Nike co-founder Phil Knight.


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