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Remembering Ron Bonham

Pacer Tribute via Stephen Beard, IndyStar

Pacer Tribute via Stephen Beard, IndyStar

The “Muncie Mortar”, the “Blonde Bomber”, “Commissioner”. Ron Bonham went by many titles. He was a Hoosier through and through, and an exemplary role model on and off the court.

In his basketball career, Bonham was inducted into both the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame and the University of Cincinnati Basketball Hall of Fame (with two NCAA championships), he won championships with the NBA’s Boston Celtics, and was an original first year Indiana Pacer in the American Basketball Association.

Off the court, he served as a public figure in Delaware County, IN for almost 40 years, including several years as County Commissioner.  Bonham was so beloved, the county commissioned a “Ron Bonham Day” when he retired.

To celebrate Bonham’s life accomplishments after his passing, the Indiana Pacers held a moment of silence and a special tribute during their 2016 NBA Playoff run.  We are sad to see his passing and our thoughts are with his family.

Read more about Ron Bonham from around the web:



Dropping Dimes & Lawrence, IN Police Put Best Foot Forward

via Dana Benbow, IndyStar
homeless new shoes new format

via Lawrence, IN Police Department

The homeless man in Lawrence who lost his house in a fire, fell on hard times, then was surprised with a pair of size 17 sneakers to replace his tattered ones.  After seeing his worn out shoes, the [police] officers went on a search for new ones…

To put it in perspective, the average man wears size 10.5. The average NBA player’s foot is a size 14.81. The largest shoe sizes on the Pacers roster are an 18, worn by Myles Turner, and 16, worn by Ian Mahinmi and Lavoy Allen.

Walking into a Wal-Mart or Goodwill, or even an upscale athletic shoe store and finding a size 17 just doesn’t happen. Most don’t carry those in stock. The shoes have to be special ordered and they are pricey.


via IndyStar

“Finding big shoes, comfortable shoes, athletic shoes that can be worn every day for these men, it’s tough,” said Scott Tarter, president and co-founder of Dropping Dimes Foundation, which helps former ABA players who have fallen on hard times. “That’s one of the biggest challenges we’ve faced.”

After the story [first] appeared in IndyStar… Dropping Dimes Foundation — which helps former ABA players who have fallen on tough financial times — donated a pair of shoes.

Read full story HERE.



Reggie Miller Joins Dropping Dimes Foundation

Reggie Miller always looked up to his Uncle Mel. Now he’s stepping up for him.

Miller, the Indiana Pacers’ career scoring leader, has joined the Advisory Board of the Dropping Dimes Foundation, filling the position formerly held by his fellow Naismith Hall of Famer and Pacers legend Mel Daniels, who passed away in October of 2015.

reggie and melThe Indianapolis-based Dropping Dimes Foundation assists former players and family members of the American Basketball Association who have fallen on hard times. Other members of the Advisory Board are Bob Costas, Bob and Nancy Leonard, George Gervin, Dan Issel, Louie Dampier, Spencer Haywood, George McGinnis, Bob Netolicky, Mack Calvin, Brian Taylor and Peter Vecsey.

Miller was befriended by “Uncle Mel and Uncle Roger (Brown)” and other ABA Pacers when he was drafted by the team in 1987. He said he wanted to honor his late friends and the league that helped change basketball but whose players received relatively small salaries and have been largely forgotten.

“Mel Daniels knew how essential it was to help those who came before us, especially when they were in need,” said Miller, the first member of the Advisory Board to have spent his entire career in the NBA. “Our generation has been given opportunities as the result of battles fought by these players and we can never forget their importance. I am honored to help continue Uncle Mel’s mission.”

“We’re so honored to have Reggie on our Advisory Board,” said Scott Tarter, president and co-founder of the charity. “What a perfect fit to fill the position left by the great Mel Daniels, who was our greatest inspiration here at the Dropping Dimes Foundation.”

Miller, a five-time NBA All-Star and Olympic gold medalist, will assume what’s now called the Mel Daniels Memorial Advisory Board Position.

In February, Dropping Dimes made its first foray out of the state, traveling to Louisville to help former Kentucky Colonel Ron Thomas. Pacers legends Netolicky and Darnell Hillman joined former Colonels Issel, Dampier, Joe Hamilton and Bird Averitt in providing Thomas with new clothes, ABA memorabilia and an afternoon of memories and good cheer.

Dropping Dimes also recently fulfilled former Pacer Charlie Jordan’s wish for a new suit so he could attend church, and also provided him with a new walker, more “big and tall” clothing and ABA memorabilia. Daniels and Netolicky helped him pick out the suit.

Make a contribution today!




Dropping Dimes & ESPN Radio with the Assist

The Dropping Dimes Foundation came together with former American Basketball Association players and ESPN Radio AM Radio 680 to help former Kentucky Colonels Players Ron Thomas (’72-’76) and Bird Averitt (’74-’76).  ABA players in attendance included Bob Netolicky, Darnell “Dr. Dunk” Hillman, Louie Dampier, Dan Issel, Joe Hamilton,  Van Vance (Colonels’ radio/TV broadcaster), and Lloyd Gardner (Colonels’ longtime medical trainer and biographer).  Learn how you can make an assist today HERE.

While in Louisville, the former American Basketball Association alumni stopped by ESPN Radio with former Kentucky Colonel Mike Pratt to rehash stories from around the league.  You can listen to the show here:

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Enjoy the gallery from events of the day: 

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American Basketball Association Greats On ESPN Radio February 19th

Be sure to tune in Friday February 19th at 12:00pm ET to hear the Dropping Dimes Foundation join University of Kentucky sports analysts and former Kentucky Colonel Mike Pratt, as they host former American Basketball Association players from the Kentucky Colonels and Indiana Pacers. The show will focus on the Foundation’s latest acts in memory of Mel Daniels, to come help former Kentucky Colonels player Ron Thomas.

The show can be heard on ESPN Radio AM Radio 680, FM Radio 105.7, or online at ESPN680.

The Indiana Pacers alumni will feature American Basketball Association greats Bob Netolicky and Darnell “Dr. Dunk” Hillman. Meanwhile, Kentucky Colonel alums will include Louie Dampier, Dan Issel, Joe Hamilton,  Van Vance (Colonels’ radio/TV broadcaster), and Lloyd Gardner (Colonels’ longtime medical trainer and biographer).


Check out some great shots from the Pacers and Colonels in action, courtesy of Remember The ABA.

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Hall of Famer Louie Dampier Joins Dropping Dimes Foundation

DampierDriveErvingNiceThe Dropping Dimes Foundation is excited to announce Louie Dampier, former American Basketball Association Kentucky Colonel and Basketball Hall of Famer, has joined the Dropping Dimes Foundation Advisory Board.

After high school Louie Dampier went on to become an All-American at the University of Kentucky. He continued his success as a member of the first Kentucky Colonels team. To name just a few of his accomplishments, Dampier was the ABA All-Time Leader in points scored, three pointers made, assists, games played, and minutes played. His stamina and hard work earned him several all-star nominations and a national championship. Dampier’s accomplishments rightfully led to his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame in the fall of 2015.


Please be sure to read more about Louie Dampier and his many contributions to the game of basketball:




The Hall of Fame Case for McGinnis

McGinnis1HanderSimonMountIBJ – Mickey Maurer

Last month Indianapolis Star reporter Nate Taylor made a case for election of George McGinnis to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The assertion was based on statistics—an excellent body of work achieved by a deserving candidate. Nonetheless, the efforts to elect McGinnis have failed each year since his eligibility in 1988, and time is running short. Perhaps the voters should know more. Who is George McGinnis?

Read more here.




Sports Collector Digest Showcases Dropping Dimes Foundation

Sports Collector’s Digest

For most basketball fans of a certain age, any discussion of the American Basketball Association (ABA) conjures thoughts of that trademark red, white and blue basketball, the three-point shot and a flashier up-tempo style of play.

Picture1-1024x682However, the ABA lasted just nine full seasons, from 1967-76. Four teams from the league (the N.Y. Nets, Denver Nuggets, San Antonio Spurs and Indiana Pacers) were absorbed by the NBA, while the rest of the teams ceased operations.

ABA players not affiliated with the Nets, Nuggets, Spurs or Pacers were chosen from a draft pool by other NBA teams. While ABA talent could hardly be considered inferior to NBA talent, several ABA players, for various reasons, never played in the NBA or did not play in the NBA long enough to be eligible for pension benefits. Since the ABA itself did not maintain a pension plan, many of its players have therefore experienced significant economical hardships in their lives after basketball. Enter Dr. John Abrams, Scott Tarter and the Dropping Dimes Foundation.

Read more here.


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Passionate Lang’s Perseverance with Spurs Paid Off

San Antonio Express News

The year was 1973. San Antonio, Lang’s hometown, had a chance to vault itself onto the national pro sports landscape via entry into the American Basketball Association. But for the landmark event to occur, business titan B.J. “Red” McCombs and stockbroker Angelo Drossos needed investors to help them relocate the struggling Dallas Chaparrals to the Alamo City and HemisFair Arena… Drossos began by appealing to Lang’s civic pride, saying the presence of an ABA team would raise the city’s profile and help attract Fortune 500 companies. Lang listened intently, partly because of his love for basketball but also because he enjoyed hearing Drossos talk.

Read more here.


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Thank You to Our Veterans

This Veterans Day, the Dropping Dimes Foundation would like to thank all the service men and women who have kept, and who continue to keep, our country the shining symbol of hope it has symbolized since its founding. Without the sacrifices of these men and women and their families, we would not be able to have the freedoms we enjoy every day. [su_spacer size=”15″]

In basketball, as in most sports, we often use superfluous adjectives and give larger-than-life descriptions for the players and coaches who catch our attention and ignite our wonderment at their athleticism and skill. The famous Dick Vitale made a living off of coining phrases like “Diaper Dandies.” The American Basketball Association consisted of legends like “Dr. J” and “The A-Train.” Meanwhile, recently passed and long-time UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian was dubbed “Tark the Shark.” Today we argue over the winner of an imaginary game of 21 between “Air Jordan”, the “Black Mamba”, and “King James”.  Throughout it all we have always looked up to and admired the “heroes” of the game. [su_spacer size=”15″]

American service men and women are true heroes who often do not earn the fandom or receive the larger-than-life descriptions. Yet they put everything on the line for us. In conjunction with our heartfelt thanks this Veterans Day, we would like to share several American Basketball Association stories from the league’s ties to the military:[su_spacer size=”15″]

  • Leslie A. Powell: A dominating player out of California, Powell was a shining star out of the Santa Fe High School Class of 1963. He was rumored to potentially be so great that he could play pro ball straight out of high school. He was recruited by coaches and scouts everywhere, but instead enlisted to help fight in Vietnam. Instead of the pro basketball record books, Powell’s name can now be found on the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC. In 1969 he was killed by enemy gunfire while sacrificing himself to save 8 fellow soldiers.
  • Mel Daniels: As part of an American Basketball Association trip which brought league stars to Vietnam to visit wounded troops, Daniels had a “frightening experience” he explained to local newspapers. “I never saw anything like it and I never will forget it…I saw a South Vietnam solder who had stepped on a mine and had his leg blown off. I saw a woman who had been badly shot…Another guy had two fingers shot off.” While Daniels did not see combat, the horrors of war were not lost on him.
  • Champ Summers: More known for his baseball achievements, Summers was a paratrooper in Vietnam for a year before finding his way back home. He experienced a small stint in the American Basketball Association with the Memphis Tams but eventually he turned over to baseball. For good reason too, as he would become an MLB star.
  • Robert “Bill” Daniels: A WWII fighter-pilot, Daniels served on both the North African and Pacific fronts. After the war he successfully went into the cable television world, and later served as President of the American Basketball Association. He also went on to own or share ownership in several successful professional sports teams.
  • Willie Harris: An Air Force basketball standout, Harris served state side during the Vietnam era – much like David Robinson a few decades later. Harris then went on to play in both the NBA and the ABA, including the Denver Nuggets and the Kentucky Colonels. After knee problems he was forced to retire from the professional game, and became a professional stunt-man in Hollywood.[su_spacer size=”15″]

If you have any American Basketball Association stories you would like to share, email us at