An Indiana basketball star who stayed at an in-state school and graduated in 1979 sounds like a description of Larry Bird, but it also applied to Jerry Sichting. Sichting’s Purdue team beat Bird’s Indiana State club in 1976, but the Boilermakers lost to the Sycamores in 1977 and 1978. Acquired in 1985 by the Celtics after five seasons with the Indiana Pacers, Sichting was most remembered for being on the receiving end of a Hakeem Olajuwon punch in the 1986 NBA Finals. The next year, he got a chance to shine as Danny Ainge battled injuries. Sichting drew defensive assignments against top guards during that time including Detroit Pistons legend Isiah Thomas.
( C ) NBA/Celtics (photo by Heritage Werks)