For basketball hall of famer Wes Unseld, one place remains his home and the place where his legendary story begins. And, it’s through this story that Wes Unseld is a sports legend of the Ville.
It was at Seneca High School where Unseld’s natural rhythm and abilities began to take notice as the Redhawks, with Unseld’s outstanding abilities, won two state tournament championships.
The young man was impressive enough to be offered a scholarship with his hometown team, University of Louisville under coach Bernard Hickman, out of high school.
A two year All-American while at Louisville, Unseld helped lead the Cards to a record of 60-22 during his tenure with the team. In addition, he still holds the percentage records for Louisville in both scoring and rebounding. After three years on campus, Unseld was offered a position on Louisville’s ABA team, the Kentucky Colonels, but was immediately drafted to the more lucrative NBA’s Baltimore Bullets that same year.
Unseld lead the previously challenged Bullets to leading the eastern division as soon as he arrived in Maryland. During his first year, Unseld was named rookie of the year and MVP of the league. To date, this is something that only Wilt Chamberlain and Unseld have done.
During his thirteen year career with the Bullets, Unseld was named a five time NBA all-star and won an NBA championship in 1978 against the Seattle Supersonics in a seven game series where Unseld was named MVP.
After his retirement, Unseld was offered a position with the Bullets as vice-president. However, after a few years, he recognized that his place was on the court and accepted a position as head coach of the team. While not as successful as a coach, Unseld brought a passion and knowledge of the game that are often not seen in today’s pro-basketball.
It was during his coaching tenure that he was elected into the prestigious Naismith basketball hall of fame. After his official retirement from coaching, Unseld stayed near the game he loves by taking a position as the Bullet’s general manager in 1996.
After considering that the NBA named Unseld as one of the fifty greatest players of all time, it’s easy to see why he’s a sports legend of the Ville.
Image courtesy of NBA.com