Fred Hetzel

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Fred Hetzel
Personal information
Born (1942-07-21) July 21, 1942 (age 77)
Washington, D.C.
Listed height6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school
CollegeDavidson (1962–1965)
NBA draft1965 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall
Selected by the San Francisco Warriors
Playing career1965–1971
PositionPower forward / Center
Number44, 21, 20, 30
Career history
19651968San Francisco Warriors
1968–1969Milwaukee Bucks
1969Cincinnati Royals
1969–1970Philadelphia 76ers
1970–1971Los Angeles Lakers
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Stats at

Fred W. Hetzel (born July 21, 1942) is an American former professional basketball player. He was an All-American college player for Davidson College. Hetzel was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1965 NBA draft by the San Francisco Warriors and played six seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Early life in D.C.[edit]

Hetzel initially attended Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C. and played for the Tigers in the 1958 season. He then transferred to Landon School in Bethesda, Maryland and was a 3 time All Met.[1] As a sophomore, he averaged 20.5 ppg and 20.4 ppg as a junior. As a 3 time All Met in the Washington Daily News, he followed in the footsteps of Lew Luce and George Leftwich as the only 3-peats. He averaged 24.1 ppg in his senior season and finished with 1,210 points during his Bears career. On March 2, 1961, Undefeated Landon and DeMatha Catholic High School (ranked 1-2 in the city) faced off in Cole Field House before a crowd of 6400. Fred Hetzel led Landon that night with 18 points but it was the tandem of John Austin and Gary Ward that led the Stags to victory 57-52.

College career[edit]

Hetzel played collegiately at Davidson College of the Southern Conference, recruited by Hall of Fame Coach Lefty Driesell. He was the Southern Conference Player of the Year in all three seasons for the Wildcats. Freshmen did not play varsity level, by NCAA rule in Hetzel's era. Davison lost in the Southern Conference tournament in all three seasons of Hetzel's career, negating NCAA Tournament trips.[2]

In 1962-1963, Hetzel averaged 23.7 points and 13.5 rebounds as Davidson finished 20-7.[3]

Davidson was 22-4 in 1963-1964, led by Hetzel's 27.3 points and 13.5 rebounds, winning the Southern Conference.[4]

As a senior, Davidson was 24-2, a perfect 12-0 in the Southern Conference in 1964-1965. behind Hetzel's 26.5 points and 14.8 rebound averages.[5] Heitzel was a consensus All-American in 1965, along with Bill Bradley of Princeton, Cazzie Russell of Michigan, Gail Goodrich of UCLA and Rick Barry of Miami (FL).[6]

Overall, Hetzel averaged (2032) 25.7 points and 13.8 rebounds in 79 games at Davidson, leading them to a 66-13 record over three seasons.[2]

Before Hetzel embarked on his NBA career, he played for Team USA in the 1965 Fifth World University Games in Budapest, Hungary. He helped the United States to a gold medal that he displayed in his living room. He averaged 12.9 points in the eight games.[7][8]

Professional career[edit]

A 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 m) forward-center from Davidson, Hetzel was selected by the San Francisco Warriors with the first overall pick of the 1965 NBA draft on May 6, 1965.[9]

As a rookie, Hetzel was named to the 1966 NBA All-Rookie Team, along with Rick Barry, Billy Cunningham, Dick Van Arsdale and Tom Van Arsdale. Heitzel averaged 6. 8 points and 5.2 rebounds for Coach Alex Hannum and the Warriors, with Hall of Famers Rick Barry, Guy Rodgers and Nate Thurmond.[10][9]

In 1966-1967, the Warriors improved to 44-37 under Coach Bill Sharman and advanced to the 1967 NBA Finals, where they lost to Wilt Chamberlain and the Philadelphia 76ers 4-2. Hetzel averaged 9.3 points and 4.0 rebounds in the series as the Warriors' 6th man.[11] During the regular season, Hetzel was the teams 4th leading scorer with 12.2 points per game, along with 8.3 rebounds.[12]

In 1967-1968, Hetzel had his finest professional season, averaging 19.0 points and 7.1 rebounds for the Warriors. The team finished 49-39, and defeated the St. Louis Hawks in the playoffs, before being swept by the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Division Finals.[13]

On May 6, 1968, Hetzel's Warrior career ended. He was chosen by the new Milwaukee Bucks from the San Francisco Warriors in the NBA expansion draft. During the 1968-1969 season, after 53 games with the Bucks, with Hetzel averaging 15.9 points and 8.9 rebounds, he was traded. On January 31, 1969 he was traded by the Bucks to the Cincinnati Royals for Zaid Abdul-Aziz and cash. He finished the year with averages of 14.4 points and 7.3 rebounds.[9]

Just before the start of the 1969-1970 season, on October 4, 1969, Hetzel was traded by the Cincinnati Royals to the Philadelphia 76ers for Craig Raymond and a future draft pick. Playing for Coach Jack Ramsey, Heitzel averaged 6.1 points and 3.3 rebounds in a reserve role for the 76ers.[9]

On May 11, 1970 Hetzel was again claimed by a new team, when he was drafted by the new Portland Trail Blazers from the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA expansion draft. Later, on August 28, 1970 he was claimed on waivers by the Los Angeles Lakers from the Trail Blazers.[9]

Hetzel played 1970-1971 with the Lakers in his final season. He averaged 4.8 points and 2.9 rebounds in 59 games, playing a reserve role on a team with Hall of Famers Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Gail Goodrich and Pat Riley. The Lakers finished 48-34, losing to Lew Alcindor and the Milwaukee Bucks in the Western Division Finals.[14]

Overall, Hetzel played six seasons in the NBA (1965–1971), averaging 11.2 points and 5.9 rebounds in 416 games.[15]


Hetzel resides in Virginia and Florida and is in the Real Estate industry.[8]

Reflecting on his career, Hetzel said “I got injured and had some various problems that impacted my pro career,” he said.“I am happy to have had the experience of the NBA, to meet such great personalities and to have relationships with such great people is just special."[8]

Fred Hetzel's brother Will Hetzel played at Maryland from 1967-1970, averaging 18.0 points and 9.1 rebounds in his career. Will Hetzel played for Coach Lefty Drisell in his senior year at Maryland.[16]

Fred and Will Hetzel's father, Fred Sr, played basketball at Maryland from 1928-1930.[17]


  • In 1985, Hetzel was inducted into the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Basketball Hall of Fame.[18]
  • Hetzel was inducted into the Davidson Hall of Fame in 1990.[19]
  • In 2010, Hetzel was inducted into the Southern Conference Hall of Fame.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "Fred Hetzel College Stats". College Basketball at
  3. ^ "1962-63 Davidson Wildcats Roster and Stats". College Basketball at
  4. ^ "1963-64 Davidson Wildcats Roster and Stats". College Basketball at
  5. ^ "1964-65 Davidson Wildcats Roster and Stats". College Basketball at
  6. ^ "Consensus All-America Teams (1959-60 to 1968-69)". College Basketball at
  8. ^ a b c Geddie, John. "Leesburg resident inducted into SoCon Hall of Fame".
  9. ^ a b c d e "Fred Hetzel Stats".
  10. ^ "1965-66 San Francisco Warriors Roster and Stats".
  11. ^ "1967 NBA Finals - San Francisco Warriors vs. Philadelphia 76ers".
  12. ^ "1966-67 San Francisco Warriors Roster and Stats".
  13. ^ "1967-68 San Francisco Warriors Roster and Stats".
  14. ^ "1970-71 Los Angeles Lakers Roster and Stats".
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Will Hetzel College Stats". College Basketball at
  17. ^
  18. ^ "wmbhall". wmbhall.
  19. ^ "Fred Hetzel '65 (1990) - Hall of Fame". Davidson College Athletics.
  20. ^ "2010 Hall of Fame - Fred Hetzel". Official Internet Home of the Southern Conference.

External links[edit]