Walt Bellamy, First Hoosier To Be Top NBA Draft, Pick Dies

Walt Bellamy was the first Indiana University basketball player to be selected with the top pick in an NBA draft.

Walt Bellamy and Branch McCracken

Photo: Courtesy of Indiana University Archives

IU basketball player Walt Bellamy and head coach Branch McCracken in a Sept. 1, 1958 photo.

The first Indiana University basketball player to be selected with the top pick in an NBA draft died this weekend.

The Atlanta Hawks announced Saturday afternoon that Walt Bellamy died at the age of 74.

IU Coach Tom Crean said Bellamy, who played for the Hoosier from 1958-1961, was one of the most honored players ever part of the Hoosier basketball program.

The NBA created this memorial video of highlights from his career.

Bellamy also holds the school records for most rebounds in a season (649), most rebounds in a single game (33), most double-doubles in a career (59), most rebounds in a three-year career (1,008).

In his final college game, he set IU and Big Ten Conference records that still stand with 33 rebounds (and 28 points) in an 82-67 win over Michigan.

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