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James Frederick Saunders (born June 13th, 1951) is a retired American professional Basketball player. Fred Saunders 15 years as a Physical Eductation teacher and Head Basketball Coach for the Franklin Heights High School boys varsity team.

Collegiate careerEdit

Fred Saunders began his collegiate career at University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1970 where he attended for 3 years and averaged 6.5 points per game. Saunders transferred before his senior year to Syracuse University. At Syracuse University Saunders averaged 9.8 points per game as a Power Forward for the Orangemen. Saunders led the Orangemen with a record of 17-9 to the first round of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship tournament. It was during Saunders' final year in college where he acquired the nickname "Chocolate Thunder" due to his unique "Skyhook" Which could only be described as Chocolate Thunder. Collegiate Stats

NBA DraftEdit

Upon graduation Saunders was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1974 National Basketball Association Draft (31st Overall) by the Phoenix Suns.

NBA careerEdit

Saunders played the position of Power Forward for the for the Phoenix Suns and the Boston Celtics during the 1970s. NBA Stats

Post BasketballEdit

Saunders became the instructor for Physical Education and head basketball coach at Franklin Heights High School in Columbus, Ohio. Saunders left a lasting impression on his pupils. Saunders could always be overheard philosophizing with students, or "youngbloods" as he called them, lessons on the game of basketball but more so on the game of life. When he wasn't admonishing the youth, Saunders could be seen "all-time" pitching on the softball mound or breaking out the Jack Johnson (boxer) era black boxing gloves, allowing the adolescents to engage in some good ol' fashioned Pugilism. Outside of the gym Saunders was known for his impeccable fashion sense, always sporting the cleanest threads, and of course his well-established street cred. Certainly one of Franklin Heights' best.

Saunders has one daughter, Amber, who resides in Atlanta, Georgia.


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