2013 Atlantic 10 Legends
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Atlantic 10 Conference announced Tuesday its Inaugural Men's Basketball Legends, and Earl Belcher, '81, has been chosen to represent St. Bonaventure. The 2013 class includes 16 former men's basketball student-athletes and coaches who made an immeasurable impact on each A-10 institution and its basketball program.
"The considerable contributions each of these gentlemen made to their institution and its basketball program played an important role in shaping the foundation of men's basketball in the Atlantic 10," stated A-10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade. "Whether it was building a program that eventually became a founding member or furthering the conference as it grew into a basketball power, each of the honorees is a part of the fabric of A-10 history and we're thrilled to be able to honor them."
Belcher led St. Bonaventure to 70 wins and appearances in both the NCAA Tournament and NIT during his four-year career. He led the team in scoring three straight years from 1978-79 to 1980-81, averaging no fewer than 21.5 points per game in each of those seasons. In 1980 and 1981 he earned All-Conference First Team accolades, becoming one of just three Bonnies to earn All-Conference First Team twice in a career. He was named the A-10 Player of the Year in 1981 after averaging 24.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game and was the only Bonaventure player to have won the award until Andrew Nicholson in 2012.
The Syracuse, N.Y. native is one of just five players in SBU history with 2,000 or more points, and his 2,077 points ranks third all-time. His 19.9 points per game average is tied for sixth in school history, and his 83.1 career free-throw percentage good for fourth in Bona's history. Additionally, he is one of 23 players who have reached 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds while wearing the Brown and White.
The Men's Basketball Legends will be honored on March 16 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. prior to the 2013 Men's Basketball Championship semifinals. The women's class will be announced Wednesday. Each honoree will be saluted during a celebration awards brunch in the 40/40 Club, beginning at 11 a.m. prior to the A-10 men's semifinal games.
The group includes 11 former players, three head coaches and two individuals that were both a player and a coach for their respective institutions. The impressive list includes several nationally recognized names and four members of the Naismith National Basketball Hall of Fame (Tony Hinkle, Red Auerbach, Tom Gola, John Chaney).
Each member institution made its own nomination with the intent that those chosen, unless deceased, would be able to attend the celebration awards brunch. The complete 2013 class can be accessed by clicking on the link at the beginning of the release.