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October 19, 1944 |
|Listed height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Listed weight||165 lb (75 kg)|
|High school||Bishop Eustace Prep
(Pennsauken Township, New Jersey)
|NBA draft||1966 / Round: 2 / Pick: 19th overall|
|Selected by the Philadelphia 76ers|
|Number||28, 3, 25|
|1969–1976||New York Nets|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA and ABA statistics|
|Points||6,870 (10.6 ppg)|
|Rebounds||1,284 (2.0 rpg)|
|Assists||3,247 (5.0 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Melchionni was a wispy guard from Bishop Eustace Prep (in his hometown of Pennsauken Township, New Jersey) who was a collegiate star in the mid-1960s at Villanova University and was the Most Valuable Player in the 1966 NIT, when Villanova finished in third place in the tournament.
Upon graduation from Villanova, Melchionni joined the Phillips 66ers AAU Elite team, where he starred for a season before returning to his hometown to join the Philadelphia 76ers.
Melchionni was a key reserve on what is, statistically speaking, the greatest 76ers team ever, the NBA Champions led by Wilt Chamberlain, Luke Jackson, Hal Greer, Wali Jones, and Chet Walker in 1967. The team was coached by another AAU Elite alum, Alex Hannum.
Melchionni then jumped to the upstart ABA, becoming a key cog with the New York Nets. He played alongside Rick Barry, and later mentored a young Julius Erving. Melchionni was a key player in the 1974 ABA Championship, led by Erving, Larry Kenon, John Williamson, and Billy Paultz.
Melchionni played in three ABA All-Star Games, and was named to the All-ABA First Team in 1972. Melchionni led the ABA in assists per game in both 1971, 1972 and 1973.
Melchionni's number 25 jersey was retired by both the Nets and Villanova.
Melchionni's brother, Gary Melchionni, was a two-year captain for Duke University and was an All-ACC performer. Gary's son and Bill's nephew, Lee Melchionni, played for the Duke Blue Devils from 2002–2006.
- Laible, Don. "Wilt, Dr J, the ABA Melchionni Saw It All", Observer-Dispatch, April 16, 2016. Accessed August 11, 2016. "From starring as a guard at Bishop Eustace Prep in his hometown of Pennsauken, New Jersey, to becoming a collegiate star in the mid-1960's at Villanova, and ultimately being a member of three professional championship teams, Melchionni saw, first-hand, some of the game's all-time greats, up close and personal."