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Syracuse Basketball Throwback Thursday: Remembering Dave Bing

Appreciating the greatest player in Syracuse basketball history.

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Be sure to check out our previous Throwback Thursday stories about Josh PaceKueth DuanyJames Southerland and Otis Hill.

Without David Bing, there is no Syracuse Orange basketball as we know it.

Bing was born in Washington DC, his parents were blue collar as his mother was a housekeeper and his father was a bricklayer. Bing grew up with Marvin Gaye and continued a great friendship with him into adulthood.

As a young child, Bing was often told by older players that he was too small for the game of basketball. Bing became discouraged and went on to play baseball during a time when Jackie Robinson was changing the landscape of America's favorite pastime. In high school, the basketball coach encouraged Bing to reconsider basketball -- it didn't take Bing long to get back on the parquet.

Eventually Bing earned a scholarship for basketball at Syracuse University. He elected to come to the Salt City and his roommate would be none other than Jim Boeheim. Back then freshmen weren't allowed to play on varsity, but if it were allowed, Bing and Boeheim both would have been playing. There wasn't a thing that Bing couldn't do on the court. He could handle the ball, had tremendous court vision and of course could get to the rim and had a nice shooting touch. He would go on to lead Syracuse in scoring each year and averaged 28.4 points, 10.2 rebounds and 6.6 assists in his senior season.


After college, Bing went on to play at the highest level in the NBA. He was selected second overall by the Detroit Pistons in the 1966 NBA Draft and went on to win rookie of the year. Bing went on to have a nice professional career playing 12 seasons in the NBA and made the all-star team seven times. Bing won the MVP Award in the 1976 season.

Back when the NBA wasn't as ubiquitous as it is today, players didn't make nearly as much as what guys make today, even with the time value of money taken into consideration. Many players would have to take a job during the offseason, including Bing. In his early playing years, he worked at the bank as a teller, in customer relations and in the mortgage department.


After hanging up his jersey, Bing would launch Bing Steel in 1980, putting up $80,000 of his own money. Without enough capital, the company was on the verge of bankruptcy when Bing made the move from manufacturing to becoming a middle man. This ultimately saved the company. General Motors was the company's first major client -- the company was able to turn a profit in just its second year of operation. Bing Steel would acquire other companies like Superb Manufacturing and eventually transform into The Bing Group. Bing also was the Mayor of Detroit from 2009 to 2013.


Bing is one of the 50 all-time greatest players in the NBA and is considered the best player to ever play at Syracuse University. In 1980 Bing was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Bing paved the way for a multitude of Syracuse players to have successful careers on and off the court.