Illinois State men’s basketball great Doug Collins ’73 will be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in November. He is the first from the University to obtain the honor.
In his three-year varsity career at Illinois State, Collins averaged 29.1 points per game and totaled 2,240 career points. He was named both an All-American and Academic All-American after each season.
His success came at a crucial time of change for ISU men’s basketball. Will Robinson had been hired as the nation’s first black Division I head coach in 1970, and the University officially became Division I a year later.
Prior to his senior year, Collins represented the U.S. in the 1972 Olympics before being selected by the Philadelphia 76ers as the No. 1 pick in the 1973 NBA draft.
He went on to become a four-time NBA All-Star with the 76ers. After retiring, Collins began a multi-decade NBA coaching career. He has led the Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards and the 76ers. He also has been an award-winning TV analyst on ESPN.
An Illinois State Athletics Percy Family Hall of Fame member, Collins had his No. 20 jersey retired after his final home game in 1973. He is the only Redbird men’s basketball player to be so recognized. In 2007, he was honored again with the naming of Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena.
Collins will be inducted in Kansas City with DePaul’s Mark Aguirre, Kansas State’s Bob Boozer, La Salle’s Lionel Simmons, UCLA’s Jamaal Wilkes and Georgia’s Dominque Wilkins. Joining them for the 11th enshrinement ceremony will be multi-school coaching legends Hugh Durham and Mike Montgomery.
The National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame began with the first class in 2006. The inaugural group included the game’s inventor, James Naismith, and legendary coach John Wooden. Since that time, eight more classes have been inducted. Those honored include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Danny Manning, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal.