The Falcons men’s basketball team of Bowling Green State University is a mid-major program of the Mid-American Conference. Since the first season ever played, 16 NBA players have called Bowling Green their alma mater. Hall of Famer Nate Thurmond leads the top NBA players from Bowling Green State University.
Hall of Fame center Nate Thurmond is the all-time greatest NBA player from Bowling Green State University. Thurmond led the Falcons to two of their four NCAA Tournament appearances with college averages of 17.8 points and 17.0 rebounds per game. He was chosen with the third pick of the 1963 NBA Draft with the Warriors and enjoyed a legendary career with the team. Thurmond is the Warriors’ all-time leading rebounder with 12,771 with the team; his 14,464 career rebounds rank eighth in NBA history. Thurmond was an intimidating force in the paint and one of the top defensive centers to ever step on a basketball court. He earned seven All-Star and five All-Defensive selections while posting career averages of 15.0 points and 15.0 rebounds in 14 NBA seasons.
All-America center Chuck Share was the first overall pick of the 1950 draft by the Celtics and one of the best NBA players from Bowling Green. Share was immediately traded for fellow draft pick Bill Sharman who went on to have a Hall of Fame career in Boston. After a few solid seasons with the Pistons, Share did well for himself as well with five-year averages of 10.1 points and 9.8 rebounds for the Hawks; in 1958, he averaged double-digit rebounds for their first and only NBA Championship team.
Guard Howard Komives was one of the top NBA players from Bowling Green. Teaming up with Nate Thurmond on Bowling Green’s most successful teams, Komives was an explosive scorer for the Falcons, pouring in 36.7 points per game as a senior. He joined the Knicks in 1964 and averaged 11.9 points and 4.4 assists in five years with the franchise. In ten NBA seasons, Komives totaled 7,550 points and passed out 2,941 assists.
Point guard Antonio Daniels is the most recent NBA player from Bowling Green State University. The Grizzlies drafted Daniels with the fourth pick of the 1997 NBA Draft and he went on to have a solid 12-year career as a backup point guard. He had his top statistical season as a member of the Sonics in 2004-05 with 11.2 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per contest. In 1999, he backed up Avery Johnson for the Spurs as they won their first NBA title.
Don Otten played in the early days of the NBA and remains one of the most successful basketball players from Bowling Green. Otten was a member of the original Hawks in 1949-50 as he averaged 12.9 points per game in his first NBA campaign. He played three more seasons in the league for averages of 10.5 points and 6.0 rebounds before retiring from the league in 1953. Otten holds the distinction of being the only NBA player to commit eight personal fouls in a single game.
NBA & ABA Players Who Attended Bowling Green State University. Basketball-Reference.com
Regular Season Records: Personal Fouls. NBA Encyclopedia.