Leonard R. "Lenny" Wilkens

Enshrined 1989
Brooklyn, NY
Born: October 28, 1937


Fans of the late 1960s and mid-1970s remember Lenny Wilkens as a tenacious, hot-shooting guard who averaged double figures in fourteen of fifteen NBA seasons. Although Wilkens only began playing high school basketball his senior year, the quietly determined player still earned a scholarship to Providence College. At 6-foot-1 and 180-pound Wilkens was considered small by basketball standards, yet he made most All-America teams as a senior in 1960. Earning MVP honors in both the NIT and the East-West College All-Star Game, he then embarked on his NBA career, playing in 1,077 regular season games and averaging 16.5 points. When he retired in 1975, Wilkens ranked second on the NBA all-time assist list with 7,211 (6.7 apg). Wilkens had the uncanny ability to serve as a player and coach simultaneously, logging three seasons with Seattle and one with Portland before moving on to concentrate solely on coaching.

Career Highlights

All-America Second-Team, 1960
NIT Finals with Providence College, 1960
NBA All-Star, 1963-1970, 1971, 1973
MVP, NBA All-Star Game, 1971