Ron Lee named to NABC Silver Anniversary All-America Team
March 14, 2001
OVERLAND PARK, Kansas - Quinn Buckner, the playmaker who led Indiana University to an unbeaten 32-0 record and a NCAA championship in 1975-76, heads the 2001 Hillyard Silver Anniversary All-America basketball team selected by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).
Joining Buckner on the team, all from the Class of 1976, are consensus All-America John Lucas of Maryland, now an assistant coach with the NBA's Denver Nuggets, Oregon's Ron Lee, a four-time all-PAC-10 selection who is a player/coach in Sweden, Atlantic Coast Conference tournament MVP Wally Walker of Virginia, now president of the NBA's Seattle Super Sonics, and Rutgers' all-time leading scorer and rebounder Phil Sellers, a banking executive in New Jersey.
Jud Heathcote, who coached Michigan State to the NCAA championship in 1978-79, is the 2001 Golden Anniversary Award winner for 50 years of service to basketball.
Heathcote and the Hillyard Silver Anniversary All-America recipients will be honored at the Verizon/NABC Awards show on Sunday, April 1, at the State Theater in Minneapolis. The event is held in conjunction with the Final Four and the annual NABC convention.
A three-year captain at Indiana, Quinn Buckner helped the Hoosiers to the NCAA championship in 1975-76 with a perfect 32-0 record. The 6-3 guard was a two-time all-Big Ten first team selection and earned All-America honors twice. In his four seasons, Buckner scored 1,195 points and handed out 542 assists, which ranks second in IU history. Buckner's Hoosier teams had a four-year record of 108-12, with two unbeaten regular seasons and four Big Ten titles. The captain of the gold medal winning U.S. Olympic team at Montreal, Buckner played for 10 seasons in the NBA, including a league title with the Boston Celtics in 1984. He was the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks in 1993-94 and is now a basketball analyst for ESPN. Buckner also serves as vice president of USA Basketball.
A four-time all-PAC10 selection and the conference player of the year in 1975-76, Ron Lee is Oregon's all-time leading scorer. The 6-3 Lee scored 2,085 career points for the Ducks, averaging 18.6 points for his career while handing out 572 assists. Lee, a three-time All-America, was a four-time recipient of Oregon's Harry Ritchie Award for athletic and academic excellence and won the Emerald Trophy in 1976 for outstanding achievement in athletics, scholarship and citizenship. The first round draft choice of the Phoenix Suns in 1976, played for Phoenix, New Orleans, Atlanta and Detroit in the NBA before moving to Europe. He has lived in Sweden for the last 10 years and is player/coach of a second division Swedish team.
John Lucas may be one of the most talented athletes ever in college athletics, earning All-America honors for two seasons each in basketball and tennis at Maryland. He finished his basketball career with the Terrapins as a consensus All-America and as Maryland's all-time leader in points with 2,015 and assists with 514. Lucas was the first round draft choice of the Houston Rockets and played 14 seasons for six different teams in the NBA. He went on to become head coach of the San Antonio Spurs and Philadelphia 76ers and is now an assistant coach with the Denver Nuggets. Lucas has also opened eight drug and alcohol treatment centers and has formed the John Lucas after-care home for athletes recovering from substance abuse.
The second player in Rutgers' history to have his number retired, two-time All-America Phil Sellers holds the Scarlet Knights' records for career points (2,399) and rebounds (1,115). The 6-5 forward led Rutgers to the NCAA Final Four in his senior season, where the Scarlet Knights lost to Michigan in the semifinal of the event, which also included Indiana and UCLA. Rutgers earned postseason berths, two in the NIT and two in the NCAA, in each season with Sellers, who was drafted in the NBA third round by the Detroit Pistons. He played for one season in the NBA and for another season in the Netherlands before returning to Rutgers as an assistant coach. Sellers is now a mortgage officer with Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corp.
As the most valuable player in the 1976 Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, Wally Walker led his Virginia Cavaliers to upsets of three nationally-ranked teams and their first NCAA tournament berth. He averaged 22.1 points during the 1975-76 season and scored 1,849 points, both sixth on UVA's all-time list. Walker played on NBA championship teams in Portland and Seattle before finishing his NBA playing career in 1983-84. After earning his MBA and working in the financial management business for seven years, Walker was named president and general manager of the Seattle Super Sonics in July, 1994. In his seven years in Seattle, the Sonics have been one of the NBA's winningest teams.
One of the most respected and colorful coaching personalities ever in college basketball, Golden Anniversary Award recipient Jud Heathcote guided his Michigan State teams to more wins than any coach in Spartans' history. Heathcote's MSU teams won 340 games and lost 220 in 24 seasons and captured the NCAA championship in 1978-79, led by All-America stars Magic Johnson and Greg Kelser. In all, nine of Heathcote's Michigan State teams earned NCAA berths in his 19 seasons with Big Ten titles in three of those seasons. Heathcote, a former NABC president and NABC Coach of the Year in 1989-90, coached for five seasons at Montana before moving to East Lansing. He retired after the 1994-95 season and now lives in Spokane, Wash., with his wife, Beverly.