Alvin Attles will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday night in Springfield, Mass.
It's an honor that long overdue. Because Attles, 82, is a living legend.
The best basketball player in A&T's history, Attles was a point guard for legendary coach Cal Irvin. Attles led the Aggies to CIAA titles in 1958 and '59, finishing his career with 1,039 points. Attles graduated from A&T in 1960 with degrees in history and physical education, and he went on to earn a master's degree in education curriculum and instruction at the University of San Francisco in 1983. Attles' No. 22 jersey was retired by the Aggies.
Picked by the Philadelphia Warriors in the fifth round of the 1960 draft, Attles played 11 seasons with the franchise and moved with the Warriors to the West Coast. Attles averaged 8.9 points and 3.5 assists in his career but was nicknamed "The Destroyer" for his prowess on defense. He scored 17 points the night teammate Wilt Chamberlain scored 100. Attles' No. 16 jersey is one of six numbers retired by the Warriors.
Attles became the Warriors' player-coach in the 1969-70 season. When he became the head coach full-time in 1971-72, he was the first African American to hold that distinction in any major sport in the modern era. In 13 years as coach, Attles led the Warriors to six playoff berths, two division titles and the 1975 NBA championship. His 557-518 record ranks 25th on the NBA's all-time coaches' victories list. Attles remains with the team as an executive to this day.
He said it
“I wish I could go back to school at A&T right now. That was a great time in my life. I have nothing but great memories from A&T and my years there. ... That was an important time in my life. I keep in touch with my friends and teammates. I had teachers there who taught me how to be a student first, but also about relationships and the importance of relationships. Coach Irvin taught me basketball, but he taught me so much more.” – Attles to News & Record columnist Ed Hardin in 2015
Red Carpet Show, 6:30 p.m. Friday, NBA
Enshrinement, 7:30 p.m. Friday, NBA