During the early to mid-1980s, college basketball witnessed one of the greatest players of all-time in Len Bias. Bias attended the University of Maryland from 1982 to 1986. During that time, he became one of the NCAA’s top players. After a successful career at Maryland, he became the No. 2 pick in the 1986 NBA draft.
Bias tragically died a few days later after he was drafted due to a drug overdose. In recent college basketball news, Bias will soon be inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame.
Len Bias starred in college at Maryland
Bias had a slow start when he first arrived at Maryland, but that changed throughout his time there. As a freshman, he only averaged 7.1 points as he appeared in 30 games, making 13 starts. After his freshman year, he became a full-time starter and immediately made an impact on the court. He saw significant improvements in his sophomore year and showed his scoring abilities. During the 1983-84 season, he averaged 15.3 points and 4.5 rebounds.
There was no question that Bias was always the most talented player on the court, and he gave fans a show to see. As a junior, Bias received numerous honors. He was named the ACC Player of the Year and a consensus second-team All-American. Bias returned for his senior year and had the best season of his career.
During the 1985-86 season, he averaged a career-high in points (23.2) and rebounds (7.0). He was named the ACC Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, and he was named the ACC Athlete of the Year. NBA scouts were impressed with Bias’ game and believed that he would be a top draft pick in the upcoming draft. He averaged 23.2 points his senior year and was a consensus first-team All-American.
Len Bias was ready to start his NBA career, then tragedy struck
Two ACC players were the top two picks in the 1986 NBA draft. Brad Daugherty from North Carolina went No. 1 to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Bias went No. 2 to the Boston Celtics. The Celtics were very high on Bias. Ed Badger, a Celtics scout at the time, compared Bias to Michael Jordan.
When players are drafted, it’s a once in a lifetime experience that they have. Not too many players are drafted into the NBA, and Bias was that much closer to making his dream come true of playing in the league. Days after Bias was drafted, he went back to his hometown of Maryland, where he met up with some of his friends and teammates at his alma mater. Bias ended up dying from a cocaine overdose. His death was a shock across the world and was a huge blow to the basketball community.
Len Bias will be inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame
The 2021 College Basketball Hall of Fame Class is filled with talented players with Bias leading the way. The other players featured in the class are Jim Jackson, Paul Pierce, Hersey Hawkins, David Greenwood, and Antawn Jamison. There also were two coaches featured in the class, and they are Rick Byrd and Tom Penders.
The 2021 class will be enshrined in a ceremony held in Kansas in November. It’s been over 30 years since Bias has played in college. His legacy will always live on, and college basketball is giving him a special honor that not everyone can be a part of. Bias will always be remembered in the basketball world.