Zelmo Beaty

Zelmo Beaty earned the respect of basketball’s giants for his physical play and relentless effort. Beaty was the type of player every man wanted on his team for his toughness and his willingness to do whatever was needed to ensure victory. The undersized center’s journey started at Prairie View A&M, a tiny NAIA school located outside of Houston, Texas. There he led the team to the 1962 NAIA national championship and while many overlooked him for the NBA Draft because he attended a small school, he was chosen third overall by the St. Louis Hawks in the 1962 draft. Beaty was a two-time NBA All-Star for the St. Louis/Atlanta Hawks. He then moved onto the ABA in 1970 where he became a star averaging 22.9 points per game while grabbing 15.7 rebounds for the Utah Stars his first season. He helped the Stars win the ABA championship that season and was named playoff MVP. In an era of big centers and even bigger hair, Beaty proved that flash and style mattered less than hard work and winning.