(born September 21, 1949) is a former American Hall of Fame basketball
player who played in the American Basketball Association
(ABA) and National Basketball Association
(NBA). After several unsuccessful attempts and years of wait, Artis was finally voted into the Hall of Fame on Monday, April 4, 2011.
A star center
during his two collegiate years at Jacksonville University
, in Jacksonville
, Gilmore led the Dolphins to the NCAA Division I
championship game in 1970, where his team was beaten 80-69 by the University of California at Los Angeles
Bruins. Gilmore remains the top player in rebounds per game in the history of NCAA Division I basketball.
In the minds of many , Gilmore was surpassed as an ABA star only by Julius Erving
. Gilmore followed five All-Star seasons with the Kentucky Colonels
of the ABA by becoming the first overall pick of the 1976 NBA dispersal draft
, which was held after the ABA was disbanded, as four teams transferred to the NBA. In Gilmore's complete pro basketball career, he was an eleven-time All-Star, the ABA Rookie of the Year, and an ABA MVP, and he remains the NBA career leader for field goal percentage.
Nicknamed "The A-Train", the 7' 2" (2.18 m) Gilmore once played in 670 consecutive games.
Gilmore was born in Chipley, Florida
, and reared there and in Dothan, Alabama
, — a larger community 35 miles to the north. He graduated from Dothan's Carver High School
in 1967. He played college......