Artis Gilmore (born September 21, 1949) is a former professional Basketball player in the American Basketball Association (ABA) and National Basketball Association (NBA). Nicknamed "The A-Train" for his unprententious but dominating style of play, the durable 7 ft 2 in (2.18 m) Gilmore once played in 670 consecutive games.

Early yearsEdit

Gilmore was born in Chipley, Florida, and raised 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 basketball at Gardner-Webb Junior College and Jacksonville University, leading the Dolphins to the NCAA title game in 1970. During the two years Gilmore played NCAA basketball at Jacksonville, he became one only five college players ever to average at least 20 points and 20 rebounds over a career. He led the NCAA in rebounding both years, and his career average of 22.7 rebounds per game is still the highest in NCAA Division I history.

Professional careerEdit

He began his professional career with the Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association and played there for the Louisville team until the league folded in 1976. As a rookie in 1972, Gilmore had the rare distinction of being selected both the league Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year. Gilmore led the ABA four times in rebounding average, twice in both field goal percentage and blocks per game, and once in personal fouls. He was named to the All-ABA First team five straight seasons, and was named to the ABA's All-Defense team four times. He played in the ABA All-Star Game all five years he played in the ABA, and was named the 1974 game's MVP. In 1975, he led Kentucky to the ABA championship and was named the Playoffs MVP. During his ABA career, Gilmore established ABA records for career field goal percentage (0.557), career blocked shots (750), blocked shots in a season (287 in the 1973-74 season), and rebounds in a game (40).

Gilmore was chosen with the 1st overall pick in the 1976 ABA Dispersal draft by the Chicago Bulls. He played for Chicago through the 1982 season (rejoined the team for part of the 1988 season, after which he was traded to the San Antonio Spurs, where he played through the 1987 season. He ended his NBA career with the Boston Celtics in 1988. Gilmore played in a total of six National Basketball Association. He led the NBA in field goal percentage in four consecutive seasons, including a career best .670 during the 1980-81 season — the third highest percentage in NBA history. Gilmore remains the NBA's career leader in field goal percentage (minimum 2000 shots made) with a 59.9 percentage. Gilmore also led the NBA in turnovers once (during the 1977-78 season).

He then played the 1988-1989 season with Arimo Bologna of the Serie A (basketball), where he averaged 12.3 points and 11.0 rebounds and made the European All-Star Team.

Despite an ABA career in which he averaged 22.3 points and 17.1 rebounds per game, NBA career averages of 17.1 points and 10.1 rebounds per game, Gilmore has yet to be elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame. In addition to being pro basketball's all-time most successful field goal percentage shooter, Gilmore ranks among the top 25 all-time point scorers, as well as in the top ten in rebounds, blocked shots, games and minutes played. No other players with comparable statistical accomplishments have been omitted from the Hall of Fame. Gilmore remains ineligible for consideration of Hall of Fame enshrinement until 2012. For the past three years he failed to receive a single vote of support from a panel of nine members serving on the North American screening committee. This committee is anonymous.

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