Billy Keller was an Indiana guy (he has since moved away) through and through, having been born there he played his entire basketball career there (high school, college, pro, and coaching). In his senior year ('69) at Purdue, he along with future ABA'ers/NBA'ers Rick Mount and Herm Gilliam, led the Boilermakers to a Big Ten title and the school's first ever appearance in the NCAA tournament, making it all the way to the finals. They would end up losing to UCLA in the title game, but it should be mentioned that by this point in the tournament the Purdue team basically limped in to the final game with multiple injuries to key players. Which of course made them easy pickin's for a UCLA team that was led by a young Lew Alcindor (among others) and coached by the great John Wooden. Also during Billy's senior year, he was awarded the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, which is given out to the nation's best player under six feet tall (he is 5'10).
Billy was chosen in the seventh round of the 1969 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, but elected to join the Indiana Pacers of the ABA instead. Over his next seven seasons he would win three ABA championships with the Pacers and go to two more finals. He would end up with second most made 3's in league history and lead the league twice in free throw percentage ('73 and '76). Billy retired in 1976 when the ABA finally folded, ending up with a scoring average of 11.8 points per game. And from 1980-87 he coached at the University of Indianapolis.
As always, a big thank you goes out to Mr. Keller.
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