The Five Greatest Basketball Players From the State of Indiana

Richard JTContributor IIIAugust 6, 2010

The Top Five Greatest Players From the State of Indiana.

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    Well, perhaps Indiana is known as a boring state for majority of people out there, but it is a great state for people who loves basketball. In fact, basketball is the  number one sport in the state of Indiana (Well I'm not sure now, since the Colts have emerged as one of the best teams in the NFL, and the Pacers haven't made it to playoffs since 2006).

    Anyway, back on topic, a lot of basketball players grew up in Indiana, but I'm only selecting the five who deserve to be on the list.

    Check 'em out.

    PS - I don't pick some players who are great enough to make this list, but technically aren't from Indiana (Isiah Thomas went to Indiana university, but wasn't an Indiana native and didn't grow up there, therefore he's out of my list)


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    Who dat? Some of you may ask, but if you know about basketball history, there's no question the kid above is Oscar Robertson. (I'm not sure where the pic was taken, but under the circumstance, I'm guessing it's taken in this game)

    Although Oscar was born in Charlotte, he grew up in the Indianapolis, as a kid, he chose to play basketball instead of baseball, which's the most popular sport during his childhood time, some said the reason Oscar chose basketball because it was a "poor kids" game, but thanks God, had Oscar chose to play baseball, there will be no player who ever averaged a triple double in a season.

    Even a lot of casual fans know that Oscar averaged the first, and to this day, the only player who ever averaged triple double in a season, however what most people don't know is that he actually averaged triple double for his first 5 seasons.

    There's no doubt in my book that he's the greatest basketball player from Indiana.

    Career highlights and awards
    1× NBA Champion (1971)
    1× NBA MVP (1964)
    12× NBA All-Star (1961–1972)
    9× All-NBA First Team Selection (1961–1969)
    2× All-NBA Second Team Selection (1970–1971)
    1961 NBA Rookie of the Year
    3× NBA All-Star Game MVP (1961, 1964, 1969)
    NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
    2× USBWA College Player of the Year (1959, 1960)
    #14 Retired by Sacramento Kings
    #1 Retired by Milwaukee Bucks


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    Born in West Baden, Indiana.
    Grew up in French Lick, Indiana.
    Went to Indiana State university, Indiana.

    What else does he have to do to prove he's an Indiana's native? Although he wasn't a Pacer, he did become a Pacers coach in the 1997-2000 and did pretty good job, made the ECF in 3 consecutive years and even made it to the finals in 2000 season, they lost but still great coaching performance. To this day, he still remains as president of basketball operations for the Pacers.

    Career highlights and awards
    3× NBA Champion (1981, 1984, 1986)
    3× NBA MVP (1984–1986)
    12× All-Star (1980–1988, 1990–1992)
    2× NBA Finals MVP (1984, 1986)
    1× NBA Coach of the Year (1998)
    9× All-NBA First Team Selection (1980–1988)
    1× All-NBA Second Team Selection (1990)
    3× NBA All-Defensive Second Team Selection (1982–1984)
    1980 NBA Rookie of the Year
    1980 NBA All-Rookie Team
    1× NBA All-Star Game MVP (1982)
    3× NBA Three-Point Shootout Winner (1986–1988)
    NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
    1979 USBWA College Player of the Year
    #33 retired by Boston Celtics


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    Kemp was considered to be 1 of the best prospect back during his high school years, too bad he didn't go to college, had he go to college, he could've develop his game and who knows he could've turned out to be a player that he was supposed to be. (Top 4 or 5 players).

    Aside from his basketball career, he's known as a "pimp", as of 1998, he had fathered at least 7 kids and probably even more today,  resulting in Kemp being an easy target for commentators' jokes.

    Nonetheless, he's 1 of the best player from Indiana state.

    Career highlights and awards

    6x NBA all star (1993-1998)

    3x All NBA second team (1994-1996)


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    Like Bird, an Indiana native and also went to Indiana High school/university.

    A very good scorer during his prime, was a member of Bucks' big 3 back in the early 2000's (Robinson, Allen and the E.T man, Cassell)

    Career highlights and awards
    high school
    1991: Indiana "Mr. Basketball" award
    1993: Second Team All-American, First Team All-Big Ten*
    1994: First Team All-American, Big Ten Player of the Year*, USBWA College Player of the Year, Naismith Award, John R. Wooden Award
    1995: NBA All-Rookie First Team
    2000, 2001: NBA All-Star
    1x NBA Champion (2005)

Scott Skiles

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    This one is a tough decision for me, but after thinking for a while, I decided to pick Scott Skiles.

    Aside from being known as a coach for the Bucks, he was a pretty good player during his short basketball career. (9 years)

    And let's not forget that who holds the record for most assists in a game? That's right, not even Magic, Stockton, Isiah or every other players for that matter but Skiles.

    Not much about Skiles, but he did win Most improved player award back in the 1991 season.

Honorable mentions

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    John Wooden, Kent Benson, Bonzi Wells, Brad Miller, Zach Randolph, Chalbert Cheaney, etc.

Current NBA players from Indiana state

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    Greg Oden, Eric Gordon, Mike Conley Jr, George Hill, Courtney Lee, Jeff teague, Sean May, Josh Mcroberts, etc.

    All players I put in this list are those who're still young and haven't been in NBA for more than 5 years.

    So that's the difference between these players and folks I put in the honorable mentions (E.G Miller, Randolph, etc)