Zelmo Beaty
Zelmo Beaty 1966.JPG
Beaty in 1966
Personal information
Born(1939-10-25)October 25, 1939
Hillister, Texas, US
DiedAugust 27, 2013(2013-08-27) (aged 73)
Bellevue, Washington, US
Listed height6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High schoolScott (Woodville, Texas)
CollegePrairie View A&M (1958–1962)
NBA draft1962 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3rd overall
Selected by the St. Louis Hawks
Playing career1962–1975
PositionCenter
Number14, 31
Career history
As player:
19621969St. Louis / Atlanta Hawks
19701974Utah Stars
1974–1975Los Angeles Lakers
As coach:
1975–1976Virginia Squires
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA and ABA statistics
Points15,207 (17.1 ppg)
Rebounds9,665 (10.9 rpg)
Assists1,365 (1.5 apg)
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2014

Zelmo "Big Z" Beaty (/ˈbt/ BAY-tee;[1] October 25, 1939 – August 27, 2013) was an American basketball player. He played eight seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and four in the rival American Basketball Association (ABA). A three-time ABA All-Star, Beaty was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 2016.

Early life

Zelmo Beaty Jr. was born on October 25, 1939 in Hillister, Texas, a small town of 250.[2] He attended Scott High School in Woodville, Texas and played for Coach John Payton [3] winning back to back Prairie View Interscholastic League 1A state championships in 1957 & 1958. For college, Beaty attended Prairie View A&M.

College

Prairie View A&M Panthers

"From 1958–1962 at Prairie View A&M Beaty averaged 25 points and 20 rebounds per game and was a two-time first team NAIA All-American (1960 & 1962). The "Big Z" led Prairie View A&M to the NAIA national basketball title in 1962 and was named the Chuck Taylor Tournament MVP." [4]

NBA

St. Louis Hawks

He was selected with the third pick of the 1962 National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft by the St. Louis Hawks. Beaty was named to the inaugural NBA All-Rookie Team in 1963. He averaged more than 20 points per game in three different seasons, and over ten rebounds per game in six of his seven seasons with the Hawks. A physical player, Beaty led the NBA in personal fouls in 1962–63 and 1965–66, and tied for the league lead in disqualifications during the 1963–64 season.[5]

On December 3, 1967, Beaty scored an NBA career high 42 points in a 123-109 win over the Seattle SuperSonics.[6] During the 1969 NBA Playoffs, the first Hawks postseason in Atlanta, Beaty averaged 22.5 points (his highest NBA playoffs average) and 12.9 rebounds in 11 games before, in a pattern familiar for the 1960s Hawks, they were eliminated in the Western Division Finals, the round before the NBA Finals.[7][8]

During his Hawks tenure, Beaty made two NBA All-Star Game appearances in 1966 and 1968, and helped the Hawks reach the playoffs every season of his tenure. In 1969, Beaty left the NBA to play in the rival American Basketball Association (ABA).

ABA

Zelmo Beaty with the Utah Stars.
Zelmo Beaty with the Utah Stars.

Utah Stars

Beaty was legally barred from playing in the ABA by a legal injunction from the Hawks during the 1969-70 NBA season.[9] In his first season in the ABA, Beaty led the league in field goal percentage, was third in the league in rebounds per game. Coached by Bill Sharman and also featuring ABA star Willie Wise, the Stars were dominant in the regular season and finished with the second best record in the league at 57-27.[10] Utah's success continued in the playoffs, sweeping the Texas Chaparrals in the first round, before defeating the Indiana Pacers to advance to the 1971 ABA Finals. In the finals, Beaty averaged 28.4 points and 16 rebounds per game, including recording totals of 36 points and 16 rebounds in a Game 7 win to end the series.[11] After the game, Beaty was awarded the ABA Playoffs Most Valuable Player Award for his role in the championship victory.[12]

The following year, Beaty averaged a career high (for both his NBA and ABA careers) of 23.6 points per game while playing all 84 games of the regular season.[13] However, that postseason the Stars would be eliminated during a hard-fought seven game series in the Western Division Finals by the Pacers, who Utah had beat the year before to advance to the finals.

In total, Beaty played four seasons with the Stars, being named to the All-ABA Second Team twice and making the ABA All-Star Game three times, before returning to the NBA as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.[14]

He also served as president of the ABA's Player Association, as well as union player representative with the Hawks.[15]

By 1974 during his final year with the Stars, Beaty was severely hampered by knee injuries, having undergone six surgeries on his knees during his career.[16] Beaty retired in 1975 with combined ABA/NBA totals of 15,207 points and 9,665 rebounds.[17] He briefly served as a coach for the ABA's Virginia Squires.[1]

Personal

After pro ball, Beaty worked in financial planning. He also worked as a substitute physical education teacher in Seattle elementary schools. Beaty died from cancer on August 27, 2013 at his home in Bellevue, Washington. He was 73 years old. He had been married to his wife for about 50 years, and had two children.[1]

Posthumous honors

Beaty was selected to be inducted into the 2014 National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame class[18] and the 2016 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class.[19]

Host Josh Levin ends every episode of the Slate sports podcast Hang Up and Listen by saying, "Remember Zelmo Beaty." This is a reference to an appearance by Shaquille O'Neal on the Late Show with David Letterman in which the host asked O'Neal about several centers from earlier eras and O'Neal did not know about Beaty even though Beaty made significant contributions to the game on and off the court.

NBA/ABA career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Denotes seasons in which Beaty won an ABA championship

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1962–63 St. Louis 80 24.0 .439 .717 8.3 1.1 10.2
1963–64 St. Louis 59 32.6 .444 .741 10.7 1.3 13.1
1964–65 St. Louis 80 36.5 .482 .715 12.1 1.4 16.9
1965–66 St. Louis 80 38.4 .473 .758 13.6 1.6 20.7
1966–67 St. Louis 48 34.6 .473 .758 10.7 1.3 17.8
1967–68 St. Louis 82 37.4 .488 .794 11.7 2.1 21.1
1968–69 Atlanta 72 35.8 .470 .731 11.1 1.8 21.5
1970–71 Utah (ABA) 76 38.4 .555 .500 .791 15.7 1.9 22.9
1971–72 Utah (ABA) 84 37.3 .539 .000 .829 13.2 1.5 23.6
1972–73 Utah (ABA) 82 34.2 .520 .000 .803 9.8 1.5 1.0 16.4
1973–74 Utah (ABA) 77 32.2 .524 .000 .795 8.0 1.7 0.8 0.8 13.4
1974–75 L.A. Lakers 69 17.6 .439 .800 4.7 1.1 0.7 0.4 5.5
Career 889 33.4 .494 .154 .771 10.9 1.5 0.7 0.8 17.1
All-Star 5 1 24.6 .340 .789 9.4 1.2 0.2 0.4 9.8

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1963 St. Louis 11 27.9 .443 .750 7.6 1.0 10.3
1964 St. Louis 12 36.3 .521 .597 9.5 1.0 14.3
1965 St. Louis 4 38.5 .492 .760 13.8 0.3 19.3
1966 St. Louis 10 41.8 .493 .759 13.1 2.2 19.0
1967 St. Louis 9 35.3 .442 .785 9.9 1.3 15.9
1968 St. Louis 6 39.8 .467 .782 13.5 2.5 21.5
1969 Atlanta 11 43.0 .432 .672 12.9 2.3 22.5
1971 Utah (ABA) 18 38.8 .536 .846 14.6 2.4 23.2
1972 Utah (ABA) 11 40.3 .552 .830 14.0 2.2 20.1
1973 Utah (ABA) 10 38.7 .552 .827 11.6 1.4 15.9
1974 Utah (ABA) 13 36.3 .503 .825 10.8 1.6 1.4 0.9 14.8
Career 115 37.8 .496 .770 11.9 1.7 1.4 0.9 17.9

Legacy

The March 16, 2022 game between Maryland Eastern Shore and Coastal Carolina at The Basketball Classic been designated the Zelmo Beaty Game.[20]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Yardley, William (September 10, 2013), "Zelmo Beaty, Undersize Force in Pro Basketball, Dies at 73", The New York Times
  2. ^ http://www.star-telegram.com/sports/nba/article100398142.html
  3. ^ "John Payton (2014) - Prairie View A&M University Sports Hall of Fame".
  4. ^ "tshof.org: Inductees". www.tshof.org. Archived from the original on June 30, 2007.
  5. ^ The Official NBA Basketball Encyclopedia. Villard Books. 1994. p. 379. ISBN 0-679-43293-0.
  6. ^ "Zelmo Beaty Career High 42 Points". Statmuse.
  7. ^ "Zelmo Beaty Per Game Playoffs". Basketball Reference.
  8. ^ "1968-69 Atlanta Hawks Roster and Stats". Basketball Reference.
  9. ^ "44 Years Ago Today: Utah Stars Win 1971 ABA Championship". The J Notes - Fansided. May 18, 2015.
  10. ^ "1970-71 Utah Stars Roster and Stats". Basketball Reference.
  11. ^ "1971 ABA Finals". Basketball Reference.
  12. ^ "Basketball-Reference.com".
  13. ^ "Zelmo Beaty Per Game Averages". Basketball Reference.
  14. ^ The Official NBA Basketball Encyclopedia. Villard Books. 1994. p. 259. ISBN 0-679-43293-0.
  15. ^ "Remember the ABA: Zelmo Beaty Tribute -- (By Dan Pattison)".
  16. ^ "SHOOT FIRST, SUE LATER - ZELMO STUCK THE STARS WITH A SUIT AFTER THE TEAM WRECKED THE WEST". Sports Illustrated - Archives.
  17. ^ Steve, Luhm (September 8, 2013), "Utah Stars great Zelmo Beaty dies", The Salt Lake Tribune
  18. ^ "Zelmo Beaty Elected to College Hoops HOF". CBS St. Louis. March 25, 2014. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  19. ^ Vivlamore, Chris (April 4, 2016). "Beaty, former St. Louis/Atlanta Hawk, elected to Hall of Fame". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  20. ^ "Zelmo Beaty Game" (PDF). The Basketball Classic. Retrieved March 15, 2022.