1959 NBA draft

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1959 NBA draft
General information
Date(s)March 31, 1959
LocationCincinnati, Ohio
85 total selections in 14 rounds
Territorial pick(s)Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia Warriors
Bob Ferry, St. Louis Hawks
First selectionBob Boozer, Cincinnati Royals
← 1958
1960 →

The 1959 NBA draft was the 13th annual draft of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The draft was held on March 31, 1959, before the 1959–60 season. In this draft, eight NBA teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players. In each round, the teams select in reverse order of their win–loss record in the previous season. The draft consisted of 14 rounds comprising 85 players selected.[1][2]

Draft selections and draftee career notes[edit]

Bob Boozer from Kansas State University was selected first overall by the Cincinnati Royals. Wilt Chamberlain and Bob Ferry were selected before the draft as Philadelphia Warriors' and St. Louis Hawks' territorial picks respectively. Although Chamberlain played at the University of Kansas, outside the territory of any NBA team, he was selected as the Warriors' territorial pick because the Warriors argued that Chamberlain had grown up in Philadelphia and played high school basketball at Overbrook High School in Philadelphia. The NBA agreed with the argument, hence making him the first territorial pick based solely on his pre-college roots.[3] Chamberlain went on to win the Rookie of the Year Award and the Most Valuable Player Award in his first season.[4][5] Two players from this draft, Wilt Chamberlain and Bailey Howell, have been inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame.[6]


Pos. G F C
Position Guard Forward Center
^ Denotes player who has been inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
+ Denotes player who has been selected for at least one All-Star Game
# Denotes player who never appeared in an NBA regular season or playoff game


A basketball player, wearing a blue jersey with the word "ORIGINAL HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS" on the front, is posing while holding a basketball.
Wilt Chamberlain was selected as the Philadelphia Warriors' territorial pick.
Round Pick Player Position Nationality Team College
T Wilt Chamberlain^ C  United States Philadelphia Warriors Kansas1[›]
T Bob Ferry F/C  United States St. Louis Hawks Saint Louis
1 1 Bob Boozer^ F  United States Cincinnati Royals Kansas State
1 2 Bailey Howell^ F  United States Detroit Pistons Mississippi State
1 3 Tom Hawkins F  United States Minneapolis Lakers Notre Dame
1 4 Dick Barnett+ G/F  United States Syracuse Nationals Tennessee State
1 5 Johnny Green+ F/C  United States New York Knicks Michigan State
1 6 John Richter F  United States Boston Celtics NC State
2 7 Tom Robitaille# F/C  United States Detroit Pistons (from Cincinnati)[a] Rice
2 8 Don Goldstein# F  United States Detroit Pistons Louisville
2 9 Joe Ruklick F/C  United States Philadelphia Warriors Northwestern
2 10 Rudy LaRusso+ F/C  United States Minneapolis Lakers Dartmouth
2 11 Bumper Tormohlen F/C  United States Syracuse Nationals Tennessee
2 12 Al Seiden# G  United States St. Louis Hawks (from New York)[b] St. John's
2 13 Cal Ramsey F  United States St. Louis Hawks NYU
2 14 Gene Guarilia F  United States Boston Celtics George Washington
3 15 Mike Mendenhall G  United States Cincinnati Royals Cincinnati
3 16 Gary Alcorn C  United States Detroit Pistons Fresno State
3 17 Jim Hockaday F  United States Philadelphia Warriors Memphis
3 18 Bobby Smith G  United States Minneapolis Lakers West Virginia
3 19 Jon Cincebox F  United States Syracuse Nationals Syracuse
3 20 Bob Anderegg G/F  United States New York Knicks Michigan State
3 21 Hank Stein G  United States St. Louis Hawks Xavier
3 22 Ralph Crosthwaite C  United States Boston Celtics Western Kentucky
4 23 Leo Byrd G  United States Cincinnati Royals Marshall
4 24 George Lee G/F  United States Detroit Pistons Michigan
4 25 Ron Stevenson F  United States Philadelphia Warriors TCU
4 26 Wilson Eison F  United States Minneapolis Lakers Purdue
4 27 Paul Neumann G  United States Syracuse Nationals Stanford
4 28 Johnny Cox G  United States New York Knicks Kentucky
4 29 Lee Harman G  United States St. Louis Hawks Oregon State
4 30 Ed Kazakavich F  United States Boston Celtics Scranton
5 31 Harry Kirchner G/F  United States Detroit Pistons TCU
5 32 Tony Windis G  United States Detroit Pistons Wyoming
5 37 Nick Mantis G  United States St. Louis Hawks Northwestern
8 56 Dave Gunther F  United States Philadelphia Warriors Iowa
8 58 Walt Torrence# G  United States New York Knicks UCLA
8 59 Willie Merriweather F  United States St. Louis Hawks Purdue
11 77 John Barnhill G  United States St. Louis Hawks Tennessee State
14 83 Jack Israel G/F  United States New York Knicks Missouri State



^ 1: Wilt Chamberlain was playing for the University of Kansas until May 1958, when he decided to leave college early to play professional basketball. However, the NBA rules prevented college players from playing in the league until their class graduated, therefore Chamberlain wasn't eligible to play in the 1958–59 season. He spent the 1958–59 season playing for the Harlem Globetrotters prior to the 1959 draft.[3]


  • "Complete First Round Results 1957–59". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on 3 December 2009. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  • "1959 NBA Draft". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  • "1957–1961 NBA Drafts". The Association for Professional Basketball Research. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  • "1959 NBA Draft". The Draft Review. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  1. ^ https://www.basketball-reference.com/draft/NBA_1959.html
  2. ^ http://basketball.realgm.com/nba/draft/past_drafts/1959
  3. ^ a b "Wilt Chamberlain Bio". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved September 10, 2009.
  4. ^ "Rookie of the Year". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved October 28, 2009.
  5. ^ "Most Valuable Player". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on 18 March 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2009.
  6. ^ "Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Inductees". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved October 28, 2009.
  7. ^ "Archie Dees Bio". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved January 8, 2010.
  8. ^ "All-Time Transactions". NBA.com/Pistons. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on 30 December 2009. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  9. ^ "Knicks' Quintet Obtains Selvy From Hawks for 2d Draft Pick; New Member of Club Paced College Scorers When Playing at Furman". The New York Times. October 23, 1958. Retrieved January 30, 2010.

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