Bill Buntin

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Bill Buntin
Bill Buntin.png
Buntin from 1965 Michiganensian
Personal information
Born (1942-05-05)May 5, 1942
Detroit, Michigan
Died May 9, 1968(1968-05-09) (aged 26)
Detroit, Michigan
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight 250 lb (113 kg)
Career information
High school Northern (Detroit, Michigan)
College Michigan (1962–1965)
NBA draft 1965 / Pick: Territorial
Selected by the Detroit Pistons
Playing career 1965–1966
Position Power forward / Center
Number 17
Career history
1965–1966 Detroit Pistons
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points 324 (7.7 ppg)
Rebounds 252 (6.0 rpg)
Assists 36 (0.9 apg)
Stats at

William L. "Bill" Buntin (May 5, 1942 – May 9, 1968) was an American basketball player. He played collegiately for the University of Michigan and in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

In three seasons playing center for Michigan, the 6' 7" Buntin had 1,037 rebounds, ranking second in school history. He averaged 15.7 rebounds a game in 1963 and recorded 58 double-doubles in 79 games, still a school record. His 1,725 points ranks 9th in school history. Playing with Cazzie Russell in the 1963-1964 season, Buntin helped Michigan win its first Big Ten title in 16 seasons and advance to the Final Four. In his senior year, the Wolverines advanced to the 1965 NCAA title game, where they lost, 91-80, to John Wooden's UCLA. He was named an All-American in both 1964 and 1965.

Buntin was selected by the Detroit Pistons in the 1965 NBA Draft and played for the Pistons for 42 games in the 1965-66 season.

During a pick-up basketball game on May 9, 1968, Buntin suffered a fatal heart attack.

Buntin has received numerous posthumous honors for his accomplishments in basketball, including:

  • He was inducted into the University of Michigan Athletic Hall of Honor in 1980 as part of the third induction class. Only two basketball players, Cazzie Russell and Rudy Tomjanovich were inducted into the Hall of Honor before Buntin.
  • In 2006, Buntin's jersey (#22) was honored and hung from the rafters at Crisler Arena. Buntin's jersey became the fifth to be honored in Crisler Arena. Only Cazzie Russell's jersey is retired.[1]
  • The award given each year to the best player on the Michigan basketball team is the Bill Buntin Most Valuable Player Award. Notable past winners include Darius Morris (2011), Trey Burke (2012, 2013), Nik Stauskas (2014), and Zak Irvin (co-winner 2015, 2016).

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