19.2 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.1 BLK, 47 FG%, 80 FT%
“On the court, Spencer Haywood was such a devastating force in his prime that no opponent could defend him or keep him off the boards. Off the court, he had a lasting effect on the game of basketball, largely because he provided the 1970 legal test case that opened the NBA to undergraduate college players.
At his best Haywood was as dominating as they come. As a 20-year-old rookie in 1969-70 he led the American Basketball Association in both scoring and rebounding and was named the ABA’s Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year.
After moving to the NBA he averaged better than 20 points for five consecutive seasons, including 29.2 ppg in 1972-73, and he was twice selected to the All-NBA First Team.
Haywood was born into a family of 10 children on April 22, 1949, in tiny Silver City, Miss. The rural poverty called hard time Mississippi by Stevie Wonder in Living For the City struck true for the Haywood family. Taking the opportunity to escape the stifling conditions at the time in the rural South, Haywood at age 15 went to Chicago and then to Detroit to live with his brother. In the Motor City, he led his Pershing High School to the 1967 Michigan Class A championship.
He spent a year at Trinidad State Junior College in Colorado, where he tallied 28.2 points and 22.1 rebounds per game. In the summer of 1968, Haywood helped the United States to a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Mexico City. He moved on to the University of Detroit for 1968-69, where as a sophomore he scored 32.1 ppg and led the nation in rebounding with an average of 21.5 rpg. Feeling that he had accomplished all that he needed to at the college level, Haywood passed up his final two years of eligibility to sign with the ABA’s Denver Rockets.” [Read]
[Note: RSS readers, there is a video within this blog]
[Sources: NBA.com, YouTube, Basketball-Reference.com]