Larry Bird

This essay Larry Bird has a total of 1397 words and 5 pages.

Larry Bird
One of the greatest basketball players of all time emerged from the small town of French Lick, Indiana. With a
population of 2,059 people, around 1,600 of them came to watch the Valley High basketball games, especially the
blond-haired shooting whiz with a funny smile named Larry Joe Bird.

Following a sophomore season that was shortened by a broken ankle, Bird erupted as a junior. Springs Valley went
19-2 and young Larry became a local celebrity. Generous fans always seemed to be willing to give a ride to Bird's
parents, who couldn't afford a car of their own. As a senior Bird became the school's all-time scoring champion.

About 4,000 people attended his final home game.

When Bird went on to college, he found life very difficult. He started out as an Indiana Hoosier, but later left Bobby
Knight's team. In 1976 Bird enrolled at Indiana State, which had a 12-14 record for the 2 previous years. Home-

game attendance hovered around 3,100 when he arrived, but as he had done in Springs Valley, Bird single-handedly
packed the house and propelled his team to respectability. He averaged better than 30 points and 10 rebounds for the
Sycamores during his first campaign. Season-ticket sales tripled. TV stations showed film clips of Bird instead of
commercials. Students skipped class to line up for tickets eight hours before tip-off. "Larry Bird Ball" was the most
popular sport in Terre Haute. The Sycamores went undefeated and reached No. 1 in Bird's senior year-that is, until a
Michigan State team featuring a 6-foot-9 guard named Earvin "Magic" Johnson knocked them off in the 1979
NCAA Championship Game. Bird was !

named the 1978-79 College Player of the Year and left ISU as the fifth- highest scorer in NCAA history. The
Sycamores had gone 81-13 during Bird's three-year career.

Then In 1978 the Boston Celtics selected him in the NBA Draft, hoping that he would skip his senior season. Bird
decided to stay one more year at Indiana. The Celtics' record that year was 29-53. Then in ?79-80, Bird finally came
to Boston and sparked one of the greatest single-season turnarounds in NBA history. The 1979-80 Celtics improved
by 32 games to 61-21 and returned to the top of their division. Playing in all 82 games, Bird led the team in scoring
(21.3 ppg), rebounding (10.4 rpg), steals (143), and minutes played (2,955) and was second in assists (4.5 apg) and
three-pointers (58). Bird was named NBA Rookie of the Year and made the first of his 12 trips to the NBA All

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