Scott played college basketball at the University of North Carolina, where he was the first black scholarship athlete. Scott averaged 22.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game at UNC, and a career-best 27.1 points per game in his senior season. He was a two-time All-American and a three-time all-ACC selection. Scott led the Tar Heels to their second and third consecutive NCAA Final Four appearances in 1968 and 1969.
Scott was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 1970 but he had already signed a contract with the Virginia Squires of the ABA. Scott was named ABA Rookie of the Year after averaging 27.1 points per game. During his second season with the Squires, he set the ABA record for highest scoring average in one season (34.6 points per game). However, he became dissatisfied with life in the ABA and joined the NBA's Phoenix Suns in 1972. At that point, he briefly went by the name Shaheed Abdul-Aleem.
Scott continued his stellar play in the NBA, representing the Suns in three straight NBA All-Star Games (1973, 1974, and 1975), then returned to the Celtics for the 1975-76 NBA season where he won a championship ring. Scott later played for the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets. He retired in 1980 with 14,837 combined ABA/NBA career points.
After retiring from the NBA, Scott served as a marketing director for the sports apparel company Champion for several years, then as executive vice president of CTS, a telemarketing firm, before owning his own business.