Willis Reed

Grambling, LA– The honors continue to roll in for Grambling great Willis Reed. Reed has been selected for the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame induction class of 2012.

Reed dominated while at Grambling State formerly Grambling College, leading the team to one NAIA title and three Southwestern Athletic Conference Championships. He racked up 2,280 career points, and he averaged 26.6 points and 21.3 rebounds during his senior year.

Reed was selected in the second round of the National Basketball Association Draft, as the tenth overall pick to the New York Knicks. His professional career spanned from 1964-74. During these 10 years, Reed left his mark on the NBA. He is a two time NBA champion. NBA Most Valuable Player, NBA Finals MVP twice, NBA All Star seven times, NBA All Star Game MVP, NBA Rookie of the Year (1965), All NBA First Team, All NBA Second Team four times, NBA All Defensive First Team, NBA All Rookie First Team, NBA 50th Anniversary All Time Team, and the New York Knicks retired his jersey (#19).

With all of the above mentioned accolades, there are still more to be named for this native of Hico, Louisiana. In 1982, Reed’s remarkable record and accomplishments were recognized by his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and in 1996 he was voted one of the “50 Greatest Players in NBA History.”

Reed’s accomplishments didn’t end there. He was the first Knicks player to have his jersey retired.  After his playing days were over, Reed took over as the coach for the 1977-78 season and managed to entice a 43-39 record out of his squad. He coached 14 games the next season before taking on an assistant coach position at St. John’s, then as head coach at Creighton University from 1981-82 to 1984-85. In 1985, Reed joined the Atlanta Hawks as an assistant coach; he then filled the same role with the Sacramento Kings. In February 1988, he replaced interim New York Nets coach Bob MacKinnon. The following year he coached the Nets to an improved 26-56 record before moving to the front office.

In 1993, Willis Reed became the Nets’ general manager. By 1994 he had built the Nets into a perennial playoff contender. In 1996, Reed moved to the position of Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations, with the same focus of building the Nets into a championship contender. After working with the Nets for over 15 years, Reed signed a three year contract with the New Orleans Hornets, as their Vice President of Basketball Operations.  Reed retired in June 2006, to Ruston, LA.

Willis Reed (Grambling), Patrick Ewing (Georgetown), Clyde Lovellette (Kansas), Phil Ford (North Carolina), Kenny Sailors (Wyoming), and Earl Monroe (Winston-Salem); coaches Joe B. Hall (Kentucky) and Dave Robbins (Virginia Union); and contributors Jim Host and Joe Dean will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame on November 18, 2012 at the Midland Theatre in Kansas City as part of a three-day celebration of college basketball.


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