Mel Daniels, a 6-9 center, played for the University of New MexicoLobo basketball team from 1964-67. He was drafted in 1967 by the Cincinnati Royals of the NBA and by the Minnesota Huskies of the ABA. He chose to play in the fledgling ABA, and became one of its all-time greatest players. The University of New Mexico (UNM) is a public university in Albuquerque, New Mexico. ... Apparently the first sporting event involving the University of New Mexico (UNM) was a football game on October 7, 1892. ... The National Basketball Association of the United States and Canada, commonly known as the NBA, is the premier professional basketball league in North America. ... The American Basketball Association (ABA) refers to two distinct professional basketball leagues. ...
Daniels was the ABA Rookie of the Year for the 1967-68 season before being traded to the Indiana Pacers, then of the ABA and now in the NBA. Daniels was the ABA Most Valuable Player twice and led the team to three league championships. The Indiana Pacers are a National Basketball Association team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. ...
After his playing days, Daniels joined the coaching staff of his college coach, Bob King, at Indiana State, where he coached future Hall of FamerLarry Bird. Daniels joined the Indiana Pacers front office in 1986 and acts as the team's Director of Player Personnel. Apparently the first sporting event involving the University of New Mexico (UNM) was a football game on October 7, 1892. ... The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame honors players who have shown exceptional skill at basketball, all-time great coaches and referees, and other major contributors to the game. ... Larry Joe Bird (born December 7, 1956) is a former NBA basketball player. ...
On May 25, 1968, just a couple of months after their first ABA season ended with a first-round playoff loss to Pittsburgh, the Pacers acquired MelDaniels from the Minnesota Muskies in exchange for James Dawson, Ron Kozlicki and a first-round draft pick.
Though other accounts of the deal had the Pacers purchasing Daniels contract from the financially strapped Minnesota franchise (the Muskies would move to Miami and become the Floridians for the 1968-69 season), the official record lists it as a trade.
Daniels was one of the most prolific big men in ABA history, the centerpiece of Pacers teams that won three championships.
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