Maryland inducted a new class in its Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday night and among them was college basketball star Len Bias.
The two-time ACC Player of the Year was inducted with his parents and two of his siblings present in his honor. Seven other athletes were also inducted into Maryland’s Athletics Hall of Fame, but Bias received a standing ovation when announced according to Matt Zenitz of the Baltimore Sun:
For most who were announced, the 400 people gathered at tables in the Heise Room at the Samuel Riggs Alumni Center would give a standard applause as the inductee was led from the back corner of the room to the front and eventually to their seat.
But when Hernandez introduced Len Bias, the 400 rose from their seats and clapped for an extended period as members of Bias’ family — his parents and two of his siblings — was led to the front of the room.
Others in attendance for the Hall of Fame ceremony included Bias’ teammates like Keith Gatlin, Tony Massenburg and Jeff Baxter and former Maryland head coach Gary Williams and current coach Mark Turgeon.
The 6-foot-8 Bias left Maryland in 1986 and was selected as the No. 2 overall pick in the 1986 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics before dying two days later from cardiac arrhythmia induced by a cocaine overdose.
Some viewed the Bias admission into the Maryland Athletics Hall of Fame as long overdue, but there were still some that wondered if the circumstances surrounding the death of Bias would stain his legacy. Most of those concerns have since passed.
Based on the reaction from the room last night, people seem to remember Bias more for his special ability playing basketball and as one of the best athletes to never play professional sports.