category :: ddf news

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Rick Barry joins Dropping Dimes Foundation

Adding to its already stellar Hall of Fame roster, the Dropping Dimes Foundation is proud to announce that Rick Barry has joined its Advisory Board.

Rick shocked much of the basketball world when he made the jump from the NBA to the ABA in 1967. After sitting out that first ABA year due to legal constraints, the sharp shooting NBA Rookie of the Year and All-Star would go on to lead the Oakland Oaks to the ABA title in 1969 and average nearly 30 points a game during his tenure in the ABA—averaging 40.1 points in seven playoff games during the 1969-70 season with the Washington Caps.

After those stints in Oakland and the nation’s capitol, Barry found himself continuing his remarkable ABA career in New York playing for the Nets.

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Eventually, Barry returned to the NBA to continue his unbelievably successful career. Upon retirement, he had cemented himself as a Hall of Fame player, being the only player in history to lead the NCAA, NBA, and ABA in scoring.

The Dropping Dimes Foundation is honored to have Rick Barry join its Advisory Board.

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ABA Legends Gather for Dropping Dimes Fundraiser

Over two hundred fans gathered to meet and talk with American Basketball Association legends and Indiana Pacers alumni Darnell Hillman, Bob Netolicky, George McGinnis, Billy Keller, and Coach Bobby “Slick” Leonard.

The Dropping Dimes Foundation joined J&J Allstar Sportscards Shows so fans could get their favorite memorable signed, hear stories about the American Basketball Association, and take pictures with the stars. All proceeds from the autographed memorabilia will go towards Dropping Dimes Foundation’s mission to help former American Basketball Association players and their families.

You can make the ultimate assist by donating today HERE.

 

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Myles Turner Joins DDF Advisory Board

The Dropping Dimes Foundation has made its first foray into todays NBA, with a new high-flying member intent on making assists for those who paved his path.

Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner, a second-team NBA All-Rookie selection last season, has become the latest Advisory Board member for the Foundation, which helps former players of the American Basketball Association who have fallen on hard times.

“I feel it’s an important cause and something that more of today’s players and fans should be aware of,” said Turner, 20, the 11th pick in the 2015 NBA draft. “These ABA players changed the way the game is played, including right here in Indiana, but most have been largely forgotten, and salaries and benefits were so different then. Some of these guys are hurting, and I’m proud to join several Pacers legends in working with the DDF.”

Former Pacers players and personnel also involved in the Foundation are George McGinnis, Bob Netolicky, Bob and Nancy Leonard, David Craig and Reggie Miller. Miller holds the title of Mel Daniels Memorial Advisory Board Member, named for his fellow Pacer and Naismith Hall of Famer who passed away in 2015.

Dropping Dimes President Scott Tarter emphasized that adding a current NBA player, especially one of Turner’s age and rising stature, is an important step for the Foundation.

“We’re so grateful for Myles’ outstanding show of support,” Tarter said. “It’s critical that our message of respect and gratitude for the unsung pioneers of pro basketball extend to today’s players and fans, and Myles helps us build that bridge.

“He has such a great respect for basketball history, and he understands the tremendous contributions made by the ABA players. His passion is infectious and we hope more of today’s players follow his lead.”

Other members of the Indianapolis-based Foundation’s Advisory Board are Naismith Hall of Famers Dan Issel, George Gervin, Spencer Haywood, Louie Dampier, Artis Gilmore, Bob Costas and Peter Vecsey, along with Mack Calvin and Brian Taylor.

Turner overcame a fractured thumb that kept him sidelined for much of the early season to finish his rookie campaign with averages of 10.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. His breakthrough game came in January on national television when he came off the bench to score 31 points against the defending champion Golden State Warriors.

A native of Dallas, Turner also runs a charitable initiative called W.A.R.M. (We All Really Matter), which distributes food, personal items and blankets to those in need in Indianapolis during the winter months.

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Donate to the Dropping Dimes Foundation Today

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Harwood Paroxysm Podcast with Bob Netolicky & Ted Green

Over&Back NBA – Jason Mann

The life of an ABA player is discussed in the third episode of the Over and Back Classic NBA podcast’s summer series — Basketball Mysteries of the 1970s. Jason Mann is joined by Indiana Pacers great Bob Netolicky, who played all 9 seasons in the ABA, and Ted Green, who has produced documentaries on Pacers legend Roger Brown and coach Slick Leonard.

Listen Here:

Discussion topics include: How the ABA forced innovations into the pro basketball world, including bigger salaries and a wide-open style of play; on- and off-court highlights of the Pacers from 1969 through 1975, where they won three ABA championships and appeared in five Finals; the excellence of Roger Brown and how he’s been forgotten among the great small forwards of all-time; tales from Netolicky’s club in Indianapolis, including sneaking in an underaged Spencer Haywood and giving visiting players free beer the night before games; Slick Leonard’s legendary motivational tactics, including nearly attacking Neto with a hockey stock; how it felt to win a championship in 1970 after blowing it in 1969; why Netolicky was never tempted by the NBA; whether the ABA ever felt stable; and how the former ABA players have forged a deep brotherhood all these years later.

Netolicky and Green are both part of the Dropping Dimes Foundation, which helps former ABA players who are dealing with financial distress.

Donate to Dropping Dimes Foundation TODAY.

Visit Hardwood Paroxysm’s Over&Back NBA Podcast HERE.

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SLAM Magazine: ABA Players Get Back on Their Feet

SLAM Magazine – Anel Ganic

The ABA, American Basketball Association, was renowned for its flashy play that was a favorite amongst basketball fans back in the league’s heyday. The rival to the NBA featured legends like Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Dan “The Horse” Issel, Rick “The Miami Greyhound” Barry, all of whom are in the Hall of Fame. In short, the ABA was basketball entertainment at its finest during the nine years it was around.

In ’76, the ABA merged with the NBA, but only the four most successful franchises were welcomed into the Association. Those four franchises were the Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, New York (now Brooklyn) Nets and the San Antonio Spurs. While some players found success in the NBA, the merger left plenty of ABA guys high and dry. These ballers didn’t have any pension benefits and fell into difficult financial situations.

This is where the Dropping Dimes Foundation comes in.

This not-for-profit Foundation was founded by Scott Tarter and Dr. John Abrams in an effort to lend a hand to many of these old-school ballers.

A few years ago Tarter was working with documentary film producer Ted Green when he met Abrams, who is a local doctor in Indianapolis and the Pacers’ eye doctor. While both of them were supporting Green, they found out that they had a mutual love for the ABA. They ended up working with a lot of their ABA heroes who would always talk about a lot of lesser-known players who needed help. After doing research, Tarter and Abrams found out that there aren’t any programs that help with getting ABA players back on their feet. Noticing that there is a void, the two linked up and started the Dropping Dimes Foundation.

“These guys were being contracted in a range of $12,000-$50,000 a year,” says Tarter. “There were no established or viable healthcare or pension plans. They were at a huge disadvantage.”

One of the great aspects of Dropping Dimes, besides the work they do to assist old ABA players, is that its advisory board is filled with ABA and NBA legends. The advisory board consists of ex-players like Bobby Leonard, Issel, George McGinnis, Reggie Miller and ancillary members of the basketball community, such as renowned sportscaster Bob Costas. All these guys go above and beyond to volunteer with the foundation.

“I got a call from the guys who started the foundation. It was trying to find a way to help some of those guys who played in the old ABA,” says McGinnis. “[Scott] talked to myself, Bob Leonard, Mel Daniels, Darnell Hillman, Billy Keller, and a few other people. We all got on board with it and that’s kind of how it all started.”

Dropping Dimes doesn’t just help out these ABA players financially, they do much more. For example, Ron Thomas who played for the Kentucky Colonels during the ’70s lives in a nursing home and Tarter and some of the advisory board members paid him a visit. They gave him shoes and clothing. Another gift they gave him was a blown up Topps basketball card. Tarter says they do that for every player and if the player doesn’t have a card, they make one for them. After that, they just hung out with him and Thomas was loving it.

“There are a lot of ABA players that didn’t make a lot of money,” adds Issel. “Some of those former players need some help right now. I have very fond memories of me in my ABA days. It was a fun league and we had a lot of exceptional talent. My ABA days hold a special place for me.”

Tarter’s hopes to help as many ABA players as he can so that in a few years this Foundation won’t be necessary.

“We’ve got some guys here who are great people. There’s just a lot of people involved,”Leonard said. “When you can help somebody else, especially guys that you knew and coached against. You want to do that.”

 

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The A-Train, Artis Gilmore, Joins DDF Advisory Board

GilmoreHookSojournerNiceArtis Gilmore, the 7-foot-2 “A-train” who imposed his will on the American Basketball Association during the first stage of his Hall of Fame career, has joined the rapidly growing Dropping Dimes Foundation with a similarly forceful mission: to help his ailing brothers.

“There are a lot of guys out there who really need an assist, players who helped change the game who are now hurting,” Gilmore said from his home in Florida. “This Foundation is making a difference, and I wanted to lend my support.”

Gilmore’s addition brings to 16 the number of Advisory Board members of the 2-year-old Foundation, including nine other Hall of Famers: Bob Costas, Louie Dampier, Mel Daniels (in memoriam), George Gervin, Spencer Haywood, Dan Issel, Bobby Leonard, Reggie Miller and Peter Vecsey. Other ABA legends on the board are Mack Calvin, Bob Netolicky, David Craig, Nancy Leonard, George McGinnis and Brian Taylor.

“We’re incredibly honored to welcome Artis to our advisory board. The extent to which these great Hall of Famers and basketball legends are stepping up to help former players in need is truly humbling, and it says a lot about the brotherhood of the ABA”, said DDF President Scott Tarter, who is joined on the Operating Board by Dr. John Abrams and film producer Ted Green. “Artis told me he’d seen some of the things we’ve been doing for former ABA players in need and that he really wanted to join in and do what he could to support us in those efforts,” said Tarter.

GilmoreStuffJonesCower2After leading little-regarded Jacksonville University to the 1970 NCAA title game, Gilmore played his first five seasons in the ABA, all with the Kentucky Colonels. His impact was immediate and dramatic: He led the league in total rebounds every year and in blocked shots three times, won the league’s MVP his rookie season, won the All-Star game MVP in 1974 and led the Colonels to the championship in 1975.

He went on to play 12 seasons in the NBA, mostly with Chicago and San Antonio, and retired as that league’s career leader in shooting percentage at .599. He averaged 22.3 points per game in the ABA, 17.1 in the NBA. He was the first player enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame by the ABA committee, in 2011.

 

 

Around the Web:
Artis Gilmore Official Website
Remember the ABA – Artis Gilmore
Artis Gilmore Career Retrospective
From college to the ABA and NBA, Artis Gilmore was a monster star
Artis Gilmore Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Speech

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Mr. Smith Goes to Owensboro

Via KWC Panthers – Jim Mashek

After his collegiate career at Kentucky Wesleyan College, Sam Smith played five years in the American Basketball Association, including three with the Kentucky Colonels. He won a league championship in his final ABA season, with the Utah Stars.

Before the ABA, Kentucky Wesleyan College basketball voice Joel Utley remembers the move. Or better yet, the strategy.

KWC needed nothing short of a miracle to stay alive in the NCAA Division II tournament in Durham, North Carolina. The Panthers were facing a talented South Carolina State squad in a first-round game, on the campus of North Carolina Central University.

KWC trailed South Carolina State by three points in the final seconds of regulation, and the Panthers’ George Tinsley was instructed to make the first of two free throws, only to miss the second. Sam Smith, the 6-foot-7, 230-pound KWC center, was listening to his coach, Guy Strong, as the Panthers broke the huddle.

“You could always count on Sam,” Utley said.  Strong certainly could, and so, too, can the Kentucky Wesleyan community.

To honor Smith the Dropping Dimes Foundation took over logistical issues so the 72-year-old Smith and his wife, Helen could both attend Saturday’s celebration of the 1966 KWC national championship squad, along with the induction of the 2016 KWC Athletic Hall of Fame class at the Convention Center.

Strong remembers Smith’s sheer strength, when he converted Tinsley’s missed free throw into the tying points against South Carolina State. The Panthers took control in overtime, winning 81-73.

“I just said to Sam, ‘On the second one, just tip it in,’ ” Strong recalled. “I’m not a prophet, but with Sam, it was almost like it was meant to be.”

Find out more about Sam Smith HERE.

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Dropping Dimes Helps Connect Willie Long with Settlement

Via IndyStar, Dana Benbow

Less than a month ago, Long woke up with a knee hurting so badly he couldn’t make it to his job as a substitute teacher. And even if he had been able to, it was unlikely his 21-year-old Honda would start.

Long has no money to replace that car — or his knee.

Like many other ABA players who were not part of the league’s merger with the NBA or who didn’t play long enough in the NBA, Long never received the pension benefits he had earned. Many of those players have scraped by for decades. Many have health issues — big men who were tough on their bodies, bodies that now are breaking down.

“There are some ABA players living under bridges in New Orleans,” said the late Pacers player Mel Daniels in a 2015 IndyStar article. “They don’t have anything.”

Long played just three years in the ABA, for the Floridians and the Denver Rockets. In 213 games, he averaged 11.4 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.

Like many other ABA players who were not part of the league’s merger with the NBA or who didn’t play long enough in the NBA, Long never received the pension benefits he had earned. Many of those players have scraped by for decades. Many have health issues — big men who were tough on their bodies, bodies that now are breaking down.

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via IndyStar

“There are some ABA players living under bridges in New Orleans,” said the late Pacers player Mel Daniels in a 2015 IndyStar article. “They don’t have anything.”

Long played just three years in the ABA, for the Floridians and the Denver Rockets. In 213 games, he averaged 11.4 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.

Over the years, he had jobs as a regional manager for Taco Bell, Avon and Jiffy Lube. But after he retired several years ago, his Social Security wasn’t covering everyday life.

Long took up substitute teaching and refereeing high school volleyball to supplement Social Security. But soon, without a working car, and with a bad knee, he couldn’t make it to those jobs.

Things were looking pretty bad.

Then, a letter came from Indianapolis-based Dropping Dimes Foundation, a non-profit whose mission is to help struggling former ABA players and their families. Long was one of 350 playersthe organization sent letters to asking if they needed help.

Long didn’t really want to ask anyone for help. But things were tough enough that he decided to put aside his pride and respond.

His application for assistance, a hand-written letter about his struggles, landed on the desk of Scott Tarter, co-founder of Dropping Dimes, about two weeks ago.

The timing stunned Tarter. Just days before, he had received another request – from the people with the NBA committee that doles out owed pension money to former players.

A class action lawsuit filed on behalf of former ABA players against the NBA for pension money owed was settled in 2014. It affected more than 200 players. Long was one of them, and the NBA committee wanted to find him.

Tarter had Long’s address and gladly passed it along.

“It was one of those moments,” said Tarter.

When Tarter picked up the phone and called Long to respond to his request to Dropping Dimes, Long had already been contacted by the pension committee.

“He was in tears,” Tarter said. “He had a difficult time talking to me. He said this was going to change his life.”

Neither Tarter, nor Long, want to reveal the amount of money Long is receiving.

“Let’s just say this is a life-changing scenario for him,” Tarter said.

But it’s no gift. This is money Long earned.

Shortly after Long was alerted to the money owed him, a former Kentucky Colonels player, 63-year-old Bird Averitt, learned from a Dropping Dimes advisory board member that he is owed back pension as well.

Find Out how you can help make the ultimate assist today HERE.

-Read more about Willie Long-

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Special Thanks to the Ketner Family

The assistance the Dropping Dimes Foundation is able to provide to former American Basketball Association players and personnel is made possible by the generous donations of our supporters.  We would like to take a moment to acknowledge a recent special show of support from Ms. Aquarius Ketner, wife of former NBA Pacer Lari Ketner. 

Lari’s hard-fought battle with cancer ended with his passing at the age of 37 in October of 2014. The 6’10” UMass graduate was drafted in 1999 by the Chicago Bulls. After the Bulls, Ketner went on to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers and then the Indiana Pacers.

After learning about the Dropping Dimes Foundation, Aquarius was gracious enough to provide us with a donation of Lari’s shoes and suits, all in fantastic condition and ready to serve some former players in need very well. Clothing for former professional basketball players is hard to come by, and her donation helps to fill a void when it comes to much needed extra-large sized clothing and shoes. 

This contribution from Aquarius will be used to assist former players in need and will represent a lasting legacy of kindness from she and Lari. Thank you.

Learn how you can donate today HERE.

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Dropping Dimes & Bob Netolicky Discuss the ABA with “The Handle”

Four-time ABA All-Star, Indiana Pacers legend, and Dropping Dimes Foundation Advisory Board Member Bob Netolicky and Foundation President Scott Tarter joined SB Nation Reinis Lacis’s podcast The Handle.

Netolicky and Tarter share numerous stories on the ABA. Bob and Scott both reminisced about the glory days of the league and the Pacers, as well as explained the purpose of Dropping Dimes and the unfortunate financial situation several ABA players find themselves in nowadays.

Listen now:


Topics discussed in the podcast:

02:20 – Scott’s connection with basketball, him rooting for the Indiana Pacers in the ABA days, Darnell Hillman being the favorite Pacer of his;
05:55 – The chemistry of those Indiana Pacers teams, the impact of the Mel Daniels trade and coach Slick Leonard‘s influence on the team;
10:45 – Roger Brown being the best player with whom Bob has played, how Brown was unsure about jumping to the ABA, the finances of that time;
15:25 – A rare radio broadcast of Game 5 of the 1972 ABA Finals between the Pacers and the New York Nets, a clutch three by Bill Keller and a Freddie Lewis steal on Rick Barry;
19:20 – “We Changed the Game” – a book soon to be released on the ABA, which will contain nuggets previously unavailable to the public;
25:10 – ABA vs. NBA, the fierce battles and the animosity being primarily created by front office people;
29:55 – A Mel Daniels vs. Flynn Robinson fight which was halted by San Diego Conquistadors coach Wilt Chamberlain picking Daniels up;
31:45 – The opening game at Market Square Arena, a win against the Milwaukee Bucks in which Bob faced up against Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in front of an ABA record crowd;
35:55 – The story behind the Dropping Dimes Foundation, how it supports former ABA players who aren’t doing well financially, the support Mel Daniels and Bob Netolicky offered, the Roger Brown documentary “Undefeated”;
42:35 – The bad conditions in which several former ABA players find themselves in, the lack of a pension plan for which Bob is fighting;
45:55 – Future goals of Dropping Dimes and information about donating to the foundation;
49:00 – The upcoming 50th anniversary of the ABA, additional information on the book;
53:05 – Scott meeting the members of the board, having to tell Willie Wise, Louie Dampier and Dan Issel that once upon a time he rooted against them.

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