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2018 Keynote Speaker

We are honored to welcome basketball legend Dave Bing to MPH as this year’s keynote speaker at the Athletic Hall of Fame.

Dave Bing at Syracuse University, 1966. (AP Photo)

Dave Bing is often referred to as the greatest player in Syracuse University history. It was the legendary Ernie Davis convinced him to come to Syracuse and there, he made a remarkable impact. He led the Orangemen in scoring for three years, and was the all-time leading scorer until Sherman Douglas came along two decades later.

With Bing as the catalyst, SU went from an 8-13 struggling program to a 22-6 NCAA contender, and a team that led the nation in scoring. As a senior Bing was named All-American, was 5th in the nation in scoring with 28.4 ppg, an SU record. His college roommate was current SU Head Coach, Jim Boeheim ’66 who says “Dave Bing is the best basketball player I’ve ever seen play. Ever.” He was the first player to have his uniform retired at Syracuse, #22.

Bing would be the 2nd player taken in the NBA draft that spring and received Rookie of the Year honors. In his sophomore year, Bing led the NBA in scoring, becoming the first guard to do so in 20 years, beating out legendary scorers such as Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor.

Bing played 12 seasons in the NBA primarily with the Detroit Pistons, but also with the Washington Bullets and Boston Celtics. During his career, he averaged over 20 points and six assists per game and made seven NBA All-Star appearances, winning the game’s Most Valuable Player award in 1976. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1990. The Pistons celebrated his career accomplishments with the retirement of his #21 jersey. In addition, he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and named one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players of all-time. He was also named to Syracuse University’s All-Century team.

Dave Bing’s success did not end after basketball. During the off-seasons from basketball he worked for local banks in Detroit, Chrysler Corporation, and small steel companies. In 1980 he founded Bing Steel in Detroit, and by the end of the decade the company had grown to annual sales of $61 million and became the 10th-largest African-American-owned industrial company in the nation, according to Black Enterprise magazine’s rankings.

In 2009 Bing won a special election to become the mayor of Detroit, Michigan and remained in office through 2013.