MoCo Resident and NBA Hall of Famer, Adrian Dantley, Inducted Into Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame

“I’m not famous, I’m a crossing guard.” If you live in the area, you may have seen him refereeing a youth basketball game or working as a crossing guard at a local school or event, but Adrian Dantley, 68, is one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history. He maintains his jobs because he just loves being a part of the community, someone involved with the youth who’s making life better for everyone. Now, he can add the Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame to his résumé.

Born in Washington, D.C., he was part of Morgan Wootten’s great teams at DeMatha High School in Hyattsville, Md. Turning down the University of Maryland and UCLA among other suitors, he accepted a scholarship at Notre Dame, where he was a unanimous first team All-American in 1975 and 1976 and played a key role as a freshman in the Irish snapping UCLA’s 88-game winning streak in 1974.

After helping the U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal in 1976, Dantley was drafted sixth by the Buffalo Braves and began a 15-year career in the NBA as 1977 Rookie of the Year. He scored 23,177 points while averaging 24 points per game, and was named to the All-Star Game six times. He led the NBA in scoring in 1981 and 1984, averaging better than 30 points per game with the Utah Jazz. Small for a forward at 6 feet 5, 215 pounds, he somehow posted up much bigger players inside. He finished ninth on the all-time scoring list. His 6,832 free throws made still rank No. 11 on the NBA list.

Dantley was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008. The Montgomery County resident served as an assistant coach to Terry Truax at Towson University from 1993 to 1996 and was assistant coach for the Denver Nuggets from 2003 to 2011. Dantley and his wife of 42 years, Dinitri, have three children and two grandkids. This past Thursday, Dantley was among the 2023 Class of the Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame.

Featured photo courtesy of the NBA

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