GREENSBORO – Alvin “Al” Attles, one-time member of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, will become the first player in the history of the North Carolina A&T men’s basketball program to have his number retired.
The ceremony will take place after women’s basketball game versus N.C. Central on Saturday, Feb. 7 at Corbett Sports Center. The women’s game tips at 4 p.m. Afterward, Attles will be present to see a replica of his No. 22 jersey hanging from the rafters of Corbett.
“The history of men’s basketball at North Carolina A&T is filled with outstanding players,” said Earl M. Hilton III, A&T’s director of athletics. “Mr. Attles’ contributions to Aggies basketball are consequential and enduring. For six decades as an NBA player, coach and executive, his commitment, loyalty and dedication to the Warriors organization and the surrounding community is a glowing example of the positive effects our student-athletes have on society. We are pleased to honor Mr. Attles as the first men’s player in our history to have his number retired.”
Attles played for legendary A&T head coach Cal Irvin from 1956-60, graduating in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and history. He led the Aggies to two consecutive CIAA titles in 1958 and ’59. During his playing career he scored 1,039 points in 82 games. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Warriors in 1960 and spent 11 with the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors.
During his career, he played in one of the most famous games in NBA history, which occurred on March 2, 1962. Attles went 8-for-8 from the field and scored 17 points, but had his night overshadowed by teammate Wilt Chamberlain, who posted an NBA single-game record 100 points. Attles also played in two NBA Finals, 1964 and ’67, losing to the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers respectively. He ended his NBA career averaging 8.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.
Over the final two years of his career, the 1969-70 and 1970-71 seasons, Attles became a player/coach for the Warriors. He spent the next 11 seasons as head coach following his playing career. Attles’ 13-year coaching run included six playoff berths, two division titles and 557 wins, which ranks him 20th all-time in NBA history.
In addition, the NBA title that eluded him as a player came his way as a head coach in 1975. Attles led the Warriors to their first and only NBA championship as a West Coast franchise, becoming the second African-American coach in NBA history to win a title. He followed the feat by leading the Warriors to a 59-23 record during the 1975-76 season, which still stands as the best record in franchise history. Attles also served as the Warriors general manager for three seasons starting in 1982. He has been affiliated with the Warriors organization in one capacity or another for 55 years. It represents the longest active streak with one NBA franchise.
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