50 for 50 – Len Bias’ Golden Moments #15…Staying Put

Bias Chooses to Stay at Maryland for His Senior Year

Bias enjoyed a trio of post-season accolades in 1985: He was voted ACC Player of the Year, all-ACC and a third-team All-America, offering sweet redemption for not being named all-ACC the previous season and creating a swirl of speculation that he might enter the NBA draft the following summer. But on May 2,

Bias settled the uneasy nerves of Maryland fans and coaches by saying he would indeed stay in College Park for another year. His decision came after coach Lefty Driesell requested that his good friend Red Auerbach talk to Bias. Auerbach dined with Bias and his parents and all agreed that he would return to Maryland.

Auerbach, of course, had told Bias after the previous summer that would do everything he could to make him a Celtic, but the Celtics had the 20th pick of the 1985 draft, and certainly Auerbach must have known the chances were slim that Bias, as the ACC Player of the Year whose upside still featured plenty of positive growth potential, would still be available.

In a Boston Globe story published the day after Bias died, Auerbach detailed his dinner discussion with Bias. “I told Lefty when he set the dinner up I would tell the kid the truth, and not to expect me to tell the kid to go back to Maryland for his final year if I did not think he had anything to gain by going back as a senior. When we met, I told Len how I felt. I told them that if he came out in the draft, he would not be drafted in the top 10. I thought he would go around 15th. I told him, on the other hand, if he stayed in school for another year, he would be one of the top choices in the draft, certainly in the top seven, putting him in the lottery, and that we might have a chance to get him. He told me he would love that. He would love to play for the Celtics.”

Bias_cover_pngExcerpted from the book, Born Ready: the Mixed Legacy of Len Bias

Learn about the Born Ready Project that teaches life skills, using Len’s legacy as a teaching tool.

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