September 6, 1962 |
Los Angeles, California
|Listed height||7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)|
|Listed weight||245 lb (111 kg)|
|High school||Pershing (Detroit, Michigan)|
|NBA draft||1984 / Round: 1 / Pick: 11th overall|
|Selected by the Atlanta Hawks|
|Position||Power forward / Center|
|Number||42, 41, 43, 45|
|1996||Golden State Warriors|
|2002–2004||San Antonio Spurs|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||17,523 (12.1 ppg)|
|Rebounds||11,901 (8.4 rpg)|
|Assists||1,328 (0.9 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Kevin Alvin Willis (born September 6, 1962) is an American retired professional basketball player mostly known for playing with the Atlanta Hawks in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was a 7-foot power forward/center.
Willis is one of fifteen players in NBA history with over 16,000 career points and 11,000 career rebounds. He was named to the NBA Eastern Conference All-Star Team in 1992, when he finished the season with a career-high average of 15.5 rebounds a game. Willis holds career averages of 12.2 ppg, 8.4 rpg, and 0.9 apg while averaging 27 minutes per game in 21 NBA seasons. He shares the record for most seasons played in the NBA with Robert Parish and Kevin Garnett.
Born in Los Angeles, Willis graduated from Pershing High School in Detroit and joined the basketball team in his junior year. Willis played competitively at Jackson College for his freshman season and transferred to Michigan State University, where he would play three seasons as a fashion and textiles major. He was selected in the 1984 NBA draft by the Atlanta Hawks. He played with the Hawks for nine seasons (plus two games of a tenth season) until 1994. Willis teamed with Dominique Wilkins, Spud Webb, and Doc Rivers to frequently guide the Hawks to playoff appearances as well as providing a fierce rebounding presence in the post. Near the end of his stint with the Hawks, he and Wilkins were both made team captains. Willis was traded to the Miami Heat in 1994. After that he played with the Golden State Warriors, served two separate stints with the Houston Rockets, the Denver Nuggets, the Toronto Raptors and the San Antonio Spurs. It was in 2003 with the Spurs that he finally won an NBA Championship ring.
Willis returned to the Hawks for one more season in 2004–05, and by doing so, positioned himself to be the oldest player in the league. On March 30, 2007, The Dallas Morning News reported that Willis needed only to pass a physical to be able to sign with the Western Conference-leading Dallas Mavericks. Willis, who did not play in 2005–06, was reported to take the team's vacant 15th roster spot. The deal became official when he signed a 10-day contract with the Mavericks on April 2, 2007. He appeared in 5 late regular season games and was on the Mavericks playoff roster as the 12th man but did not play in the Mavericks shock early first round exit. By playing five games during 2006–07, Willis became the oldest person to play more than one game in an NBA season (Providence Steamrollers coach Nat Hickey activated himself for one game in 1948, at 45 years and 363 days old.) Hall-of-Famer Robert Parish, who – at age 43 – played 43 games with the Chicago Bulls in 1996–97, previously held many of Willis’ longevity and age-based records.
Willis ended his playing career after the 2007 season, returning to his clothing business, Willis & Walker. The Atlanta-based company, which specializes in custom wear for big and tall men, was founded in 1988 by Willis and former Michigan State teammate Ralph Walker.
NBA career statistics
- List of National Basketball Association players with 1000 games played
- List of National Basketball Association career minutes played leaders
- List of National Basketball Association career rebounding leaders
- List of National Basketball Association career turnovers leaders
- List of National Basketball Association players with most rebounds in a game
- List of oldest and youngest National Basketball Association players
- Kevin Willis NBA Player Profile, accessed March 31, 2007.
- Willis becomes oldest player in Mavs’ history, April 2, 2007
- 2004–05 NBA Player Survey Results: Age
- "Kevin Willis". basketball-reference. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
- "Kevin Willis bio page". NBA. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
- Pablo S. Torre (2011-07-04). "Larger Than Real Life". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2015-04-19.
- Willis set to sign with Mavs, accessed March 31, 2007.
- Whatchoo Talkin' 'Bout Willis? Posted by Rob Peterson, April 3, 2007
- Guglielmo, Connie (2008-10-03). "Apple Wins BlackBerry Defectors With Business iPhones". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2008-10-04.
- Weissenberg, Tracy (June 25, 2013). "Ex-Hawks star Willis still flying high in world of fashion". nba.com. Retrieved July 30, 2014.