Draft Lookback: Syracuse in the '60s

This time period involved one of the most notable Syracuse players of all time. Find out who and the rest of the draftees from the 1960s inside.

During the 1960s, the Syracuse Orange had three of their alum called to the NBA through the draft.

In 1961, Pete Chudy was chosen in the tenth round by the Syracuse Nationals, giving the professional squad based in the same city as the university four former Syracuse players in total through their draft history.

Following Chudy was Dave Bing in 1966. Bing became the highest drafted Syracuse alum at this time and the only to be selected in the first round (second overall). The Detroit Pistons gave him an opportunity which he did not let pass him by.

A year later, Vaughn Harper and Richard Dean were called to the professional ranks. Harper was chosen in the sixth round by the Pistons, while Dean was decided upon in the ninth round by the San Francisco, now Golden State, Warriors in the 1967 draft.

George Hicker made it three years straight that a Syracuse player was selected by an NBA team in 1968 when the Atlanta Hawks took him in the 14th round.

Chudy averaged double-digits in points in three straight seasons, averaging at least 20 points per game in his senior season, becoming only the second player in Syracuse history at the time to do so; Cohen was the other.

But after being selected by the Nationals, Chudy did not make the team and as a result did not play in the NBA.

Bing, however, not only competed in the NBA, he excelled. He won NBA Rookie of the Year and responded by topping all players in scoring as a sophomore in the league.

He would have a 12-year career in the NBA, most of which was with the Detroit Pistons, but he did also spend some time with the Washington Bullets (now Wizards) and Boston Celtics.

During his time in the NBA, Bing averaged a little over 20 points, six assists, and just under four rebounds per game. In total, he amounted over 18,000 points, in excess of 5,300 assists, and more than 3,400 rebounds.

Bing's #21 Pistons' jersey was retired, he achieved a place in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980, and he was the first Syracuse men's basketball player to have their jersey retired (#22).

On the Orange, Bing averaged no less than 22 points per game, including his best performance of 28.4 points per game, which he reached in his final season. His efforts aided Syracuse in their rise to the top-scoring team in the country.

Harper averaged a double-double in his junior and senior seasons at Syracuse, attaining no less than 15 points and 10 rebounds per game. He averaged over 14 rebounds in his junior campaign (1966-67) alone.

But after the Pistons chose Harper, he did not make the cut and would not play in the NBA.

His teammate Dean achieved the honor of Most Improved Player on the Orange squad in his junior season where he made 57% of his attempts from the field and was 81% successful at the free throw line.

On Valentine's Day in 1966, he connected on all 13 of his attempts from the field against the Cornell Big Red on his way to a 30-point outing.

The following season, Dean would be named Syracuse's Most Valuable Player.

Despite being drafted by the Warriors of the NBA as well as the Denver Nuggets, then of the ABA, Dean decided to join the Army instead. From the Army, he would go on to work for the FBI. Dean would then become a high school administrator along with serving as a basketball coach as a 20-year member of the public school system in North Carolina. He would also serve as an ordained Methodist Minister in a life which had many stops and experiences.

Hicker averaged no less than 13 points per game in three straight seasons with Syracuse. An element of his game involved in this achievement was his one-handed perimeter shooting, referred to as the "Hicker Flicker".

An automobile accident would result in Hicker breaking his leg and ankle before his junior season. He would respond by attaining his highest averages in points (18.6) and rebounds (6.3) per game though he did not go on to compete in the NBA.


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