Bob Lanier

Bob Lanier

St. Bonaventure University and NBA Basketball Player

Bob Lanier is arguably the finest basketball player to ever come out of the Buffalo area. Throughout his college career at St. Bonaventure University in nearby Olean, New York and his professional career with the Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks, Lanier made his mark as one of the true talents of the game.

At St. Bonaventure, Lanier averaged 27.5 points and 15.7 rebounds per game throughout his career – both all-time school records. He was also Second Team All-America in his sophomore year and First Team All-America in his junior and senior years. Lanier’s brilliant college career was culminated by the retirement of his number “31” jersey by the university at the end of his senior year.

His college days over, Lanier proved to be the hottest prospect of the 1970 NBA draft, chosen by the Pistons as the first pick overall that year. The Pistons weren’t disappointed. Lanier would go on to score 15,488 points and gather 8,063 rebounds in his nine-and-a-half years with the club.

Lanier would go on to play another four and a half years in the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks, until his retirement from the game in 1984. Before he was through, however, the eight-time NBA All-Star rolled up 19,248 points (12th on the all-time NBA scoring list) and grabbed 9,698 rebounds during his illustrious 14-year career. In recognition of his accomplishments, Bob Lanier’s number “16” jersey has been retired by the Milwaukee Bucks.

Lanier, who is also a former president of the NBA Players Association, has been nominated for induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.