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Alton Lister
TNT Tropang Giga
PositionAssistant coach
LeaguePhilippine Basketball Association
Personal information
Born (1958-10-01) October 1, 1958 (age 63)
Dallas, Texas
Listed height7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)
Listed weight240 lb (109 kg)
Career information
High schoolWoodrow Wilson (Dallas, Texas)
NBA draft1981 / Round: 1 / Pick: 21st overall
Selected by the Milwaukee Bucks
Playing career1981–1998
Coaching career2000–present
Career history
As player:
19811986Milwaukee Bucks
19861989Seattle SuperSonics
19891993Golden State Warriors
19941995Milwaukee Bucks
19951997Boston Celtics
1997–1998Portland Trail Blazers
As coach:
2000–2007Mesa Community College
2007–2008Atlanta Hawks (assistant)
2016–presentTropang TNT / TNT Katropa / TNT Tropang Giga (assistant)
Career highlights and awards
As Player:

As Assistant Coach:

Career NBA statistics
Points6,298 (6.6 ppg)
Rebounds5,996 (6.3 rpg)
Blocks1,473 (1.5 bpg)
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at

Alton Lavelle Lister (born October 1, 1958) is an American retired professional basketball player. He is currently serving as an assistant coach for TNT Tropang Giga in Philippine Basketball Association.

Lister graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School (in the Lakewood section of Dallas) in 1976, where he led the Wildcats to many victories and was an All-American and All-State team member. He was inducted into Woodrow's Hall of Fame in 1990.


The 7' 0" Lister played at San Jacinto Junior College, where he was a teammate of future NBA journeyman shooting guard Oliver Mack.[1] He led the Dragons in rebounding and received All-American honors. He later transferred to Arizona State, becoming teammates with future NBA player Byron Scott. Lister's senior season averages of 15.4 points and 9.7 rebounds contributed to the Sun Devils having a school record of 16-2 in the Pac-10 and 24-4 overall and being ranked fifth in the nation for the 1980–1981 season. The season, capped with a win over the top-ranked then-undefeated Oregon State, had Lister earn honorable mention All-America honors by the Associated Press and Street & Smith's, All-Pac-10 honors, and his team's Most Improved Player award.

A two-year starter in his three years with Arizona State, Lister was inducted into the Arizona State Hall of Fame in 2000 after a career that saw him average 8.2 rebounds and post 148 career blocks.[2] Lister as a member of the 1980 USA Olympic basketball team was the second Sun Devil to be selected for the United States Olympic team. However, he was unable to participate due to the United States Olympic Committee's decision to boycott the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games on the orders of President Jimmy Carter. He did however receive one of 461 Congressional Gold Medals created especially for the spurned athletes.[3]


Lister was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round (21st overall) of the 1981 NBA Draft. He would consider Bob Lanier his mentor during his time with the Bucks, where he averaged around 8.1 ppg, 7 rpg and 1.8 bpg while only playing 24 minutes a night in his five-year stint with the Bucks. In the 1982–83 season, Lister received 5 points in the NBA MVP voting even though he only averaged 8.4 points and 7.1 rebounds[4] and started in 37 games. Each of the five seasons he played in Milwaukee ended with them winning the Central Division, though they did not reach the NBA Finals during his tenure.[5]

After the 1986 season he was dealt to Seattle for Jack Sikma. His best year as a professional came during the 1986–87 season as a member of the SuperSonics, appearing in 75 games and averaging 11.6 ppg, 9.4 rpg and 2.4 bpg. After just two seasons with the Sonics, he was traded straight up to the Warriors for their first round pick. Lister would go on to play another four years with Golden State, though playing sparingly in due to injuries. He was waived by the Warriors in March 1993 and went on to sign with Milwaukee. After one more season with the Bucks, the then 37-year-old Lister went to the Boston Celtics, as part of the Todd Day for Sherman Douglas trade. He spent two seasons in Boston on a $800,000 total salary averaging 1.9 ppg. Lister finished his career with seven games for the Portland Trail Blazers.

In his NBA career, Lister played in 953 games (incidentally, the second most games ever for a player with jersey #53, behind Artis Gilmore) and scored a total of 6,298 points. He wore jersey #53 his entire career, and was best known as a solid rebounder and shot blocker.


In 2000, Lister became head coach of at Mesa Community College. From a 9-21 season before his arrival, Lister had five consecutive seasons of 20 or more wins. In the seven years Lister served as coach, 30 players went on to play for NCAA Division I schools. While coaching at Mesa, Lister spent six summers at Pete Newell's Big Man's Camp. The Atlanta Hawks were impressed with Lister's work at the Newell's camps, thus paving the way for Billy Knight's recruitment of Lister as assistant coach to Mike Woodson in 2007.[6]

In November 2008, upon the recommendation of Paul Howard, he was hired as skills coach to the San Miguel Beermen of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).[7]

Personal life

Lister lives in the Philippines with his wife Nova and his daughter Avery, working as the skills coach of the Meralco Bolts. He has five children in the US, namely Alton, Jr., Alexa, JRoss, and Amari.[8]

Although retired, Lister has coached aspiring basketball players in the San Diego, California area.[9] On July 17, 2015, Lister was the keynote speaker at the California State Games in San Diego, CA, at Qualcomm Stadium.[citation needed] In January 2016, he joined Tropang TNT as an assistant coach.[citation needed]

Lister's deceased brother James, a 6'9", 225-pound center from Sam Houston State, was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the third round of the 1973 NBA draft, but he never played in the NBA. He played as an import in the Philippines (in 1981 for the PBA's CDCP Road Builders in 7 games) and in Belgium for 13 years.

See also


  1. ^ Dragons made unexpected appearance 50 years ago[permanent dead link], by Harold Bechard, posted March 20, 2007
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-07-10. Retrieved 2013-02-22.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Caroccioli, Tom; Caroccioli, Jerry (2008). Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. Highland Park, IL: New Chapter Press. pp. 243–253. ISBN 978-0942257403.
  4. ^ 1982–83 NBA Awards Voting
  5. ^ "Bucks Best: Alton Lister".
  6. ^[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-04-20. Retrieved 2009-07-19.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Lister almost guarantees the US to win".
  9. ^ "Train with Alton, a Basketball coach on CoachUp".