Mel Daniels

In the basketball-centric state of Indiana, Detroit native Mel Daniels gave Pacer fans and Hoosier natives reason to cheer for the hometown team. Daniels landed in the upstart American Basketball Association in 1967 after a standout career at the University of New Mexico where he was a Second Team All-America his senior year and averaged double figures in points and rebounds all three seasons. A six-foot-nine-inch post presence, Daniels was an agile scorer and ferocious rebounder filling up the stat sheets for eight ABA seasons. Three times in his first four seasons Daniels led the ABA in rebounding including a career high of 18 boards per game in 1970-71. He is the ABA's all-time leader in rebounds and ranks fourth in scoring, but his greatest contributions to Hoosier Hysteria are the three ABA championships he won with the Indiana Pacers. In two of the three title runs, Daniels was the postseason leader in total rebounds. The seven-time ABA All Star averaged a double-double for his career and was also named to the All-ABA First Team four times in a row starting in 1968.