In four seasons at the University of Maryland (1982-86), Len Bias made the transition from being a raw but athletic talent upon his arrival on campus to being one of the greatest players in ACC history. Bias won two ACC Player of the Year awards (1985 and 1986), and in 1986 he was a consensus first team All-American.
With the combination of size (6-foot-8) and skill he was seen as a player ready to have an immediate impact in the NBA, with the reigning NBA champion Boston Celtics taking him with the second pick in the 1986 NBA Draft. Sadly we never got to see what Bias would have been able to do alongside the likes of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish, and some would argue that the tragic circumstances surrounding his death in 1986 factored into his still not being a member of Maryland’s Athletics Hall of Fame.
That changed on Wednesday, as it was announced by the school that Bias is one of eight former Terrapins who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday, October 3. Joining Bias in the 2014 class are Bob Boneillo (men’s lacrosse), Edward G. Cooke (track & field, football), Maureen ‘Bean’ Scott Dupcak (field hockey, women’s lacrosse), Alex Kahoe (women’s lacrosse), Debbie Lytle (women’s basketball), Sandy Worth (athletic trainer) and Charlie Wysocki (football).
“We would like to congratulate our newest inductees and their families on their selection for the Maryland Athletics Hall of Fame,” Maryland AD Kevin Anderson said in the release. “It’s an exciting time for us to honor and recognize the incredible accomplishments of our former student-athletes during their time in College Park.”
During his four seasons at Maryland, Bias racked up 2,147 points (still a school record) and was a member of four NCAA tournament teams. Among Bias’ best individual performances was his 35-point outing in a 77-72 overtime win over North Carolina on February 20, 1986, as the Terrapins handed the Tar Heels their first-ever loss at the Dean Dome.
When it comes to discussing some of the game of basketball’s best players, specifically those who went directly from high school to the NBA, a question that’s often asked is where said player would have attended college if forced (by rule) to do so. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are among those who have been discussed in this manner, and in the case of LeBron he’s got connections to two programs within his home state of Ohio.
LeBron’s connected with the Ohio State program, which is outfitted by the Nike’s LeBron signature line, but there’s another program with an even closer connection. That would be Akron, which is led by head coach Keith Dambrot, and all he did was serve as LeBron’s high school coach at St. Vincent/St. Mary’s HS in Akron during the player’s freshman and sophomore years at the school. Also on those teams were two future Akron Zips in guard Dru Joyce and forward Romeo Travis.
Thursday the school announced that it would be honoring James, Joyce and Travis with bobble head dolls to be given out before Akron’s home games against Buffalo (February 16; Joyce’s bobble head), Bowling Green (February 26; Travis) and Ohio (March 1; James).
All three bobble head dolls are wearing Akron uniforms, which in the case of LeBron allows fans to think back and imagine what could have been. Season ticket holders guaranteed one bobble head per account (on each of the three giveaway days), with the first 750 fans in attendance to receive one as well.
The gang is back together again for another episode of the NBCSports.com College Basketball Talk Podcast, with Rob Dauster hosting and Raphielle Johnson and Scott Phillips joining him. Today’s episode touched on big wins picked up Thursday night by California and Indiana, discussing the performances of those teams and also touching on their prospects down the line.
Also discussed were the recent performances of Iowa State, Providence and Texas A&M (which are you more worried about?), and some of the top games on this weekend’s schedule headlined by Kansas visiting Oklahoma. And if you’re a fan of seafood, you may take umbrage with some of Rob’s comments at the beginning of the podcast.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast on either iTunes or Stitcher, and there’s also a link to listen to this podcast below. Thanks for listening.