Dave Meyers (basketball)

David William Meyers (April 21, 1953 – October 9, 2015) was an American basketball player who played for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The forward played college basketball for the UCLA Bruins. He was an All-American as a senior in 1975, when he won his second national championship with UCLA. He was drafted in the first round of the 1975 NBA draft with the second overall pick, and played four years professionally with the Bucks.

Early life

Born in San Diego, California, Meyers was one of 11 children (six girls, five boys) of Bob and Pat Meyers. Bob was a standout basketball player at Marquette University and was the Warriors' captain in 1944–45. Meyers attended high school at Sonora High School in La Habra, California. As a senior, he averaged 22.7 points per game in leading the Raiders to the Orange League title and, in the postseason, the California Southern Section AA championship. Meyers was named AA Player of the Year.

College career

As a sophomore in 1972–73, Meyers played a backup role on the UCLA Bruins men's basketball team, averaging 4.9 points per game, sixth on the team, and 2.9 rebounds. UCLA won the Pac-8 title, went 30–0 and captured the 1973 NCAA championship with an 87–66 win over Memphis State. Meyers recorded four points and three rebounds in the championship game.

As a junior in 1973–74, Meyers became a starter on a front line with future Hall of Famers Bill Walton and Jamaal Wilkes. Meyers averaged 11.4 points and 5.7 rebounds.

In 1974–75, with Walton and Wilkes graduated, the Bruins reloaded and Meyers was the senior starter on a front line with two sophomores and future All-Americans Marques Johnson and Richard Washington. Meyers led the team in both scoring and rebounding with 18.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game with a .484 field goal percentage. He won the John Wooden Award as UCLA's Most Valuable Player, and he was a consensus first-team All-American. The Bruins went 28–3 and won the NCAA championship in the 1975 NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament, the team's 10th in a 12-year span, with a 92–85 win over Kentucky. Meyers recorded 24 points and 11 rebounds in the championship game.

Meyers appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1975 with the headline "UCLA Still Best in the West." He was inducted into the Pac-12 Conference Hall of Honor in March 2015.

NBA career

Meyers was the second overall pick in the 1975 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. Nineteen days later, Meyers, along with Elmore Smith, Junior Bridgeman, and Brian Winters, was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Walt Wesley.

In his rookie season of 1975–76 with the Bucks, Meyers played 72 games and averaged 22.1 minutes per game. He averaged 7.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. He posted a then career single-game high of 28 points in just his third NBA game, against the New Orleans Jazz.

In 1976–77, Meyers was limited to 52 games, but his playing time increased to over 25 minutes per game, while he averaged 9.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game, with a .467 field goal percentage. On April 10, 1977, he set a new personal best of 31 points against the San Antonio Spurs.

In 1977–78, his third season, Meyers came into his own as a starter and the Bucks, after two losing seasons, rebounded to a 44–38 record. Playing alongside his former UCLA teammate Marques Johnson, Meyers played 80 games and averaged over 30 minutes per game. Meyers posted a career-high 14.7 points per game along with 6.7 rebounds and a career-high 3.0 assists. On November 15, 1977, he upped his single-game scoring personal best to 32 points, against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Meyers missed the 1978–79 season with a back injury.

In the 1979–80 season, he played 79 games and just under 28 minutes per game as the Bucks went 49–33 and won the NBA Midwest Division. Meyers averaged 12.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.

After five NBA seasons, on April 30, 1980, Meyers made a surprise announcement that he was retiring from basketball to spend more time with his family and devote more time to his Jehovah's Witness faith.

Career statistics

Legend
  GPGames played  GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
 FG% Field goal percentage 3P% 3-point field goal percentage FT% Free throw percentage
 RPG Rebounds per game APG Assists per game SPG Steals per game
 BPG Blocks per game PPG Points per game Bold Career high

NBA

Regular season

Playoffs

College

Personal life

Meyers married his wife, Linda, in 1975. Their daughter Crystal was born a year later, and son Sean followed three years later. Meyers worked as a sales representative for Motorola and took night classes in education at National University. He received his teaching certificate and, beginning in 1988, for many years he served as an elementary school teacher at Railroad Canyon School in Lake Elsinore, California. He also served as a basketball instructor, both privately and at camps, primarily for children aged 8–12.

Meyers died of cancer in Temecula, California, on October 9, 2015, at the age of 62.

Meyers was the older brother of Ann Meyers, who also was an outstanding basketball player as well as the only woman to sign a free agent contract with an NBA team (Indiana Pacers in 1979).

External links

Uses material from the Wikipedia article Dave Meyers (basketball), released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.