The Hoosiers basketball program of Indiana University is one of the most prominent teams in NCAA competition. Winners of five-time NCAA Championships, the Hoosiers are virtually synonymous with college basketball. A total of 50 Indiana Hoosiers have reached the NBA with rising star Eric Gordon leading the current crop. The all-time best NBA players from Indiana University are led by two Hall of Famers, an ABA/NBA star, and a pair of All-Star brothers.
Hall of Fame center Walt Bellamy was one of the greatest NBA players from Indiana University. From 1958 to 1961, Bellamy averaged more than 20 points and 15 rebounds per game for the Hoosiers to become the number one overall pick in the 1961 NBA Draft. Bellamy spent his first four years with the Bullets franchise, reaching the All-Star Game in each of them. He averaged 27.6 points and 16.6 rebounds with the organization before later joining the Knicks, Pistons, and Hawks. Bellamy posted double-double averages in 11 of his 13 full seasons, scoring a total of 20,941 points and grabbing 14,241 rebounds with the latter ranking ninth in NBA history.
A far better athlete than he is an executive, Hall of Fame point guard Isiah Thomas was an elite NBA player from Indiana University. Thomas was the Most Outstanding Player of the 1981 Final Four and the second pick in the draft of the same year. He spent his entire 13-year career as the starting point guard for the Detroit Pistons, leading the franchise to its first two NBA Championships in 1989 and 1990. A 12-time All-Star, Thomas was one of the greatest play-makers basketball. He racked up 9,061 assists, the sixth highest total of all-time. He is also 14th on the list of all-time steals leaders with 1,861.
George McGinnis was an All-Star big man in both the ABA and the NBA and one of the greatest players from Indiana University. In 1970-71, McGinnis averaged 30 points and 14.7 rebounds for the Hoosiers heading into his first ABA season. In four years with the Indiana Pacers of the ABA, he averaged 25 points and 13 rebounds per game as he led the franchise to two championships. In the NBA, McGinnis posted four consecutive seasons of better than 20 points and ten rebounds per game for the 76ers and Nuggets. He made three All-Star teams in each league, scoring a combined 17,009 points with 9,233 boards in his 11 professional campaigns.
Dick Van Arsdale:
A three-time All-Star for the Phoenix Suns, guard Dick Van Arsdale was one of the best NBA players from Indiana University. Van Arsdale began his NBA career in New York, spending three years there before joining the Suns and developing into a star. In his first three seasons with the Suns from 1968 to 1971, he averaged a combined 21.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 4.4 assists, participating in all three All-Star Games. For his career as a whole, Dick Van Arsdale tallied 15,079 points with strikingly similar production to his brother Tom.
Tom Van Arsdale:
A three-time All-Star for the Cincinnati Royals and identical twin brother of Dick Van Arsdale, Tom Van Arsdale was one of the top NBA players from Indiana. Both Van Arsdale brothers joined the NBA in 1965 and retired in 1977. Tom Van Arsdale played for five franchises with his best basketball coming from 1969 to 1972 with Cincinnati; he made three consecutive All-Star appearances while averaging 21.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game. Tom Van Arsdale scored 14,232 points for a career average of 15.3 per game.
NBA & ABA Players Who Attended Indiana University. Basketball-Reference.com