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Fri, 09.10.1948

Bob Lanier, Basketball Player and Administrator born

Bob Lanier

Bob Lanier was born on this date in 1948. He was a retired Black basketball player, author, administrator, and educator.

Born and raised in Buffalo, NY, Robert Jerry Lanier, Jr., attended Bennett High School as a three-time All-America player. He graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 1970.  He holds St. Bonaventure's record for scoring (27.6 ppg) and rebounding (15.7 RPG).

After college, the NBA Detroit Pistons drafted Lanier as their number-one choice in 1970. He was later named to the NBA's All-Rookie team.  During his 14-year NBA career with the Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks, Bob Lanier was the model of consistency. As a scorer, his left-hand hook and dominating inside play made him one of his era's most feared big men.

Opposing centers had to keep a watchful eye on Lanier because he had an equally imposing outside game. His shooting touch from the perimeter put him in a unique class of being a true inside/outside scorer. He proved this as an eight-time All-Star and MVP of the 1974 game. Lanier's career statistics of 19,248 points (20.1 ppg) and 9,698 rebounds (10.1 RPG) still rank among the top 20 in NBA records.

His perspective on life has always been to reach beyond the basketball court.  In 1978, he won the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award. One year later, the YMCA presented Lanier with the Jackie Robinson Award for service to youth, good citizenship, and leadership.  In 1989, he began serving as the National Chairman of the NBA's "Stay In School" program, which he continued after retirement from playing.

Lanier's diplomacy, both on and off the court, also led him to the presidency of the NBA Players Association. In 1994-95, he was an assistant and head coach with the Golden State Warriors, compiling a 12-25 record. Nicknamed the Dobber, Lanier was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (1992); he was a six-time All-Star (1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982); he was All-Star MVP (1974); All-Rookie Team (1971); and J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award (1978).

Bob Lanier, author, and leader of the NBA’s “Read to Achieve” program, died on May 11, 2022.

To become a Professional Athlete


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Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
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