Darnell Hillman

Darnell “Dr. Dunk” Hillman (born August 29, 1949) is a former professional basketball player.

Hillman graduated from Hiram W. Johnson High School.

The 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) forward played college basketball at San Jose State University. Hillman was selected in the first round of the 1971 NBA Draft (the 8th pick overall) by the Golden State Warriors, but opted instead to play for the Indiana Pacers of the American Basketball Association.

Hillman played six seasons for the Pacers, who joined the National Basketball Association (NBA) with the ABA-NBA merger in June 1976. Hillman earned a reputation for his stylish slam dunks and oversized afro hairstyle. Hillman later played with the New Jersey Nets, Denver Nuggets, Kansas City Kings, and Golden State Warriors in the NBA, and he ended his career in 1980 with combined NBA/ABA totals of 6,666 points and 5,187 rebounds during the regular season, and 7,339 points and 5,809 rebounds including the post-season.

Hillman also played for the United States men's national basketball team at the 1970 FIBA World Championship.

Hillman was once asked by a reporter if it was true he could jump high enough to grab a quarter off the top of the backboard. Hillman responded, “Put a $100 bill up there and see.” The reporter, who had heard the stories of Hillman picking quarters off the top of backboards, turned down the offer.

At the 1997 ABA reunion, Hillman won the "Biggest ABA Afro" Award.

Currently, Hillman serves as Associate Director of Camps, Clinics & Alumni Relations for the Indiana Pacers.

On February 4, 2012, Hillman's #45 was retired by San Jose State University. Hillman joins Ricky Berry (#34) and Olivier Saint-Jean (#3) as the only Spartans to have their jerseys retired.

  1. ^ BasketballReference.com Darnell Hillman page
  2. ^ RememberTheABA.com Darnell Hillman page
  3. ^ a b RememberTheABA.com When Big Hair Ruled the ABA page
  4. ^ 1970 USA Basketball
  5. ^ http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/2012/san-jose-state-retires-darnell-hillmans-45/

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