SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – The Basketball Hall of Fame Family celebrates the life and mourns the passing of American Basketball Association coaching legend Bobby “Slick” Leonard. Enshrined as a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014, Mr. Leonard has passed away at the age of 88.
“Slick Leonard earned a reputation as the best game seven coach in the business, always finding a way for his team to prevail in the big games,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “He was an Indiana man, through and through, and his impact on basketball and his community in his home state is truly immeasurable. He will be missed by the Hall of Fame family.”
Bobby “Slick” Leonard, a Hoosier native, led the Indiana Pacers to 529 wins, which included five trips to the ABA Finals and championships in 1970, 1972, and 1973. He was a player’s coach, hard and disciplined when his team needed to refocus and a father figure when the young men needed a lift. Just when an opponent seemed to have him figured out, Leonard reached back into his bag of tricks and found the magic that produced big wins and lifelong friendships. He won 69 playoff games in the ABA, a league record. The ABA’s all-time winningest coach later moved into the broadcast booth, calling Pacers games, thus enjoying one of the longest associations with one team in history.
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was born, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting, preserving and celebrating the game of basketball at every level – men and women, amateur and professional players, coaches and contributors, both domestically and internationally. The Hall of Fame museum is home to more than 400 inductees and over 40,000 square feet of basketball history. Nearly 200,000 people visit the Hall of Fame museum each year to learn about the game, experience the interactive exhibits and test their skills on the Jerry Colangelo "Court of Dreams." Best known for its annual marquee Enshrinement Ceremony honoring the game’s elite, the Hall of Fame also operates over 70 high school and collegiate competitions annually throughout the country and abroad. For more information on the Basketball Hall of Fame organization, its museum and events, visit www.hoophall.com, follow @hoophall or call 1-877-4HOOPLA.