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Bias to Be Inducted Into National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame

Legendary Athlete to Become the Fourth Terrapin Honored

By Maryland Today Staff

Basketball players Baxter and Bias high-five

Len Bias, shown with teammate Jeff Baxter in 1983, still ranks No. 3 among the Terps' all-time career scorers, with 2,149 points.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Len Bias, one of the greatest athletes in University of Maryland history, will be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday in Kansas City.

He will become the fourth Terp to receive the honor, joining Tom McMillen (1971-74) and former head coaches Lefty Driesell (1969-86) and Gary Williams (1989-2011).

The University of Maryland is also planning to celebrate the life and legacy of Bias at its annual “Gold Rush” game against Virginia Tech 7:15 p.m. Dec. 1. The first 4,000 students will receive replica golden Bias jerseys, and all fans in attendance will get commemorative newspapers featuring Bias’ greatest accolades and achievements. Additionally, Maryland Athletics will release a new documentary, “34,” via the Terrapin Club+ online streaming platform, featuring Driesell, former Terps and NBA basketball stars Walt Williams ’92 and Tony Massenburg ’90, ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt ’88, Michael Wilbon, Frank Isola ’92 and Jay Bilas, and “Voice of the Terrapins” Johnny Holliday.

Bias was set to be inducted last year, but the event was postponed due to COVID-19.

Terp magazine cover featuring "Our Bias" story about Len Bias

The 6-foot-8-inch forward from Prince George’s County, who possessed a rare combination of athletic grace and power, was a two-time All-American and one of only a handful of players, including Tim Duncan, Danny Ferry and Ralph Sampson, to twice earn Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year honors. Averaging 23.2 points per game his senior season, Bias finished his four-year career with the Terps (1982-86) as the program's all-time leading scorer.

The Boston Celtics made him the No. 2 overall pick in the 1986 NBA Draft, but Bias passed away just two days later of complications from a cocaine overdose. The stunning development sparked federal anti-drug legislation, the resignation of university and athletics leaders, and an overhaul of the athletics department.

For more on Bias’ life and legacy, read the cover story from the Fall 2014 Terp magazine.

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