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Did You Know? Our Local Heroes Elgin Baylor and David Bing

A pair of students from the early years of Spingarn High School would go on to become NBA All-Stars. Elgin Baylor and Dave Bing both had long, celebrated careers in the NBA that would earn both a spot in the NBA Hall of Fame.

Elgin Baylor enrolled in Spingarn during the first year the school was open in 1954. Elgin had been playing basketball since junior high at that point, and at 6’5”, the high school senior managed to win the SSA’s Livingstone Trophy as the area’s best basketball player that year. After college, Elgin was the drafted to the Minneapolis Lakers and took them from last place to the NBA finals, earning him Rookie of the Year. By the time Baylor’s NBA career ended, he was an 11-time NBA All-Star and a 10-time member of the All-NBA first team, which honors the league’s best players each season. Baylor was inducted in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 1977.

When Dave Bing enrolled at Spingarn High School in 1958, he was a baseball player. He had played basketball in the past, but preferred baseball. However, with encouragement from Coach William Roundtree, he decided to return to basketball and joined the team. He found his stride with basketball and, after college, Dave was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in 1966. His basketball career would last until the 1978 season; in that time, he earned such honors as Rookie of the Year (1967), Scoring Champion (1968), and the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award (1977). Dave was inducted in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1990. Dave also went on to become Mayor of Detroit in 2009.