Congratulations to National Champion Head Coaches Kim Mulkey of LSU and Dan Hurley of UConn, Congratulations to the Dwayne Wade, Dirk Nowitzki. Becky Hammon and the entire 2023 Basketball Hall of Fame class.
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As the eighth of nine children, Billy Ray Bates got his start in basketball by shooting hoops for McAdams High school and later at the college level for Kentucky State University. Billy Ray was drafted in the 3rd round of the 1978 NBA draft by the Houston Rockets, but ended up actually playing for the Continental Basketball Associations Maine Lumberjacks where he won the Rookie of the Year Award as well as the All-Star game slam dunk competition. It was those slam dunks and energetic playing style that gained him notoriety and popularity. Bates even once scored 40 points in 32 minutes and 35 points in 25 minutes which gained him NBA Player of the Week awards by the end of his rookie year. After short stints with several teams during the 1982-1983 season Bates NBA career came to a conclusion when he transitioned to the PBA where he took the court by storm. Bates quickly became a crowd favorite again and continued to be until the end of his playing career in 1988.
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