Our list’s No. 6 player amounted what still can be argued as the most prolific legacy in Syracuse basketball history. Dave Bing came to SU in the 1960s with the odds previously being stacked against him. A severe eye injury impaired his vision from the age of five, however, Bing would still go on to star in both basketball and baseball at Spingarn High School, in Washington D.C.
After ultimately sticking with basketball, it’s no secret that Bing’s decision was a smart one. As soon as the former Syracuse star first got his shot as a sophomore, he led the team in scoring at over 22 points per game. Behind Bing’s lead, SU also improved its record to 17-8, from an 8-13 the year prior. From then on, it was clear the Orange had a star on its hands.
Unfortunately, for two of the three seasons Bing spent at SU, assists were not yet tallied in the stat book. If they were, we can be certain that the former All-American would have quite a few to his name. Also, at just 6-foot-3, Bing notched over 10 rebounds per game throughout his college career.
As a junior in 1964-1965, Bing averaged over 23 points and 12 rebounds per game, leading the team in both categories as a guard. Then, as a senior in ’65-’66, Bing led the Orange to the NCAA Tournament where it came up short against Duke in the Elite Eight. However, Bing would set an SU single-season scoring record that year, with 28.4 points per game.
All in all, Bing’s accolades at Syracuse would only go onto serve as a microcosm of what he’d do afterwards. After being selected second overall by the Detroit Pistons in 1966, Bing eventually won Rookie of the Year, became a 7-time all-star and NBA scoring champion. He was later inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1990.
In addition to his thoroughly decorative basketball career, Bing enjoyed just as much success in other endeavors, later on. Going on to pursue ventures in both business and civil rights, Bing was ultimately awarded the National Minority Small Business Person of the Year by President Ronald Reagan, in 1984. In 1990, he was recognized at the NBA All-Star Game for receiving the Schick Achievement Award, for his work after his career in basketball. The list most certainly goes on, however.
One of Bing’s other major accomplishments came in 2009, when Bing became a recipient of the National Civil Rights Museum Sports Legacy Award – honoring athletes who have made significant contributions to civil and human rights. If that wasn’t enough, just months later, Bing was sworn in as the Mayor of Detroit and re-elected in late 2009.