July 24, 1939 |
New Bern, North Carolina
|Listed height||6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)|
|Listed weight||225 lb (102 kg)|
|High school||J.T. Barber
(New Bern, North Carolina)
|NBA Draft||1961 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall|
|Selected by the Chicago Packers|
|1961–1963||Chicago Packers / Zephyrs|
|1965–1968||New York Knicks|
|1974||New Orleans Jazz|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Points||20,941 (20.1 ppg)|
|Rebounds||14,241 (13.7 rpg)|
|Assists||2,544 (2.4 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
|Basketball Hall of Fame as player|
College career 
Bellamy chose to play basketball at Indiana University. "In the summer after my junior year of high school I played with some guys from Indiana," he said. "Indiana at the time was the closest school to the South that would accept African-Americans. It was an easy transition for me to make. Not that I was naive to what was going on in Bloomington in terms of the times, but it didn't translate to the athletic department or the classroom. Every relationship was good."
Bellamy graduated from Indiana University with the most rebounds in a career with 1,088 in only 70 games, while averaging 15.5 a game. Averaging 20.5 points a game and shooting 51.7 percent from the floor, Bellamy also averaged 17.8 rebounds a game (still Indiana's record). He also holds the school records for most rebounds in a season (649), most rebounds in a single game (33), most double-doubles in a career (59), most rebounds in a three-year career (1,008). In 2000 he was selected to Indiana University's All-Century Team.
In his final college game, he set Indiana and Big Ten Conference records that still stand with 33 rebounds (and 28 points) in an 82-67 win over Michigan. Bellamy was named an All-American in both his junior and senior year (1960 and 1961). Bellamy was the fist Hoosier taken No. 1 in the NBA draft and the first Hoosier named NBA Rookie of the Year.
The 1960 Olympics 
Bellamy was the starting center on the gold medal-winning American basketball team at the 1960 Summer Olympics. 10 of the 12 college players on the undefeated American squad went on to play professionally in the NBA, including fellow Big Ten player, Terry Dischinger, and fellow future Hall-of-Famers Jerry West, Oscar Robertson, and Jerry Lucas.
NBA career 
Bellamy had a stellar 14-year career in the NBA, and was the NBA first overall draft pick in 1961. Bellamy was named the NBA Rookie of the Year in 1962 after having arguably one of the three greatest rookie seasons in NBA history (along with Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson). His 31.6 points per game average that season is second all-time for a rookie to Wilt Chamberlain's 37.6, and the 19 rebounds per game he averaged that season is third best all-time for a rookie (to Chamberlain's 27 and Bill Russell's 19.6). Bellamy also led the NBA in field goal percentage in his rookie season, and had a 23-point, 17-rebound performance in the 1962 NBA All-Star Game. Bellamy played with the Chicago Packers, which became the Baltimore Bullets for his first four seasons before he was traded to the New York Knicks a few games into the 1965-66 season.
Due to trades to teams with offset game schedules during the 1968-69 season when he was traded from the Knicks to the Detroit Pistons for Dave DeBusschere, Bellamy set a still-standing record for NBA games played in a single season with 88 (He played 35 games with the Knicks, 53 with the Pistons). He later played for several seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, and finished his career with the New Orleans Jazz.
Bellamy ended his NBA career with 20,941 points and 14,241 rebounds, and was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993. Despite being one of the league's top rebounders, Bellamy never made an All-NBA team.
Personal life 
See also 
- List of National Basketball Association career scoring leaders
- List of National Basketball Association career free throw scoring leaders
- List of National Basketball Association career rebounding leaders