Zelmo Beaty

Zelmo Beaty

Beaty in 1966
Personal information
Born (1939-10-25)October 25, 1939
Hillister, Texas
Died August 27, 2013(2013-08-27) (aged 73)
Bellevue, Washington
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight 225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school Woodville (Woodville, Texas)
College Prairie View A&M (1958–1962)
NBA draft 1962 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3rd overall
Selected by the St. Louis Hawks
Playing career 1962–1975
Position Center
Number 14, 31
Career history
As player:
19621969 St. Louis / Atlanta Hawks
19701974 Utah Stars
1974–1975 Los Angeles Lakers
As coach:
1975–1976 Virginia Squires
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points 9,107 (16.0 ppg)
Rebounds 5,949 (10.4 rpg)
Assists 839 (1.5 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2014

Zelmo "Big Z" Beaty (/ˈbt/ BAY-tee;[1] October 25, 1939 – August 27, 2013) was a Hall of Fame American basketball player.

Early life

Zelmo Beaty Jr. was born on October 25, 1939 in Hillister, Texas, a small town of 250.[2] He attended Scott High School in Woodville, Texas and played for Coach John Payton [3] winning back to back Prairie View Interscholastic League 1A state championships in 1957 & 1958. For college, Beaty attended Prairie View A&M.


Prairie View A&M "Panthers"

"From 1958–1962 at Prairie View A&M Beaty averaged 25 points and 20 rebounds per game and was a two-time first team NAIA All-American (1960 & 1962). The "Big Z" led Prairie View A&M to the NAIA national basketball title in 1962 and was named the Chuck Taylor Tournament MVP." [4]


St. Louis Hawks

He was selected with the third pick of the 1962 National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft by the St. Louis Hawks. Beaty was named to the inaugural NBA All-Rookie Team in 1963. He averaged more than 20 points per game in three different seasons, and over ten rebounds per game in six of his seven seasons with the Hawks. A physical player, Beaty led the NBA in personal fouls in 1962–63 and 1965–66, and tied for the league lead in disqualifications during the 1963–64 season.[5] Beaty made two NBA All-Star Game appearances in 1966 and 1968 before leaving the NBA to play in the rival American Basketball Association (ABA).


Utah Stars

Zelmo Beaty with the Utah Stars.

In his first season in the ABA, Beaty led the league in field goal percentage, was third in the league in rebounds per game, helped lead the Utah Stars to the 1971 ABA title, and was awarded the ABA Playoffs Most Valuable Player Award.[6] He played a total of four seasons with the Stars, being named to the All-ABA Second Team twice and making the ABA All-Star Game three times, before returning to the NBA as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.[7]

He also served as president of the ABA's Player Association, as well as union player representative with the Hawks.[8]

Beaty retired in 1975 with combined ABA/NBA totals of 15,207 points and 9,665 rebounds.[9] He briefly served as a coach for the ABA's Virginia Squires.[1]


After pro ball, Beaty worked in financial planning. He also worked as a substitute physical education teacher in Seattle elementary schools. Beaty died from cancer on August 27, 2013 at his home in Bellevue, Washington. He was 73 years old. He had been married to his wife for about fifty years, and had two children.[1]

Posthumous honors

Beaty was selected to be inducted into the 2014 National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame class[10] and the 2016 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class.[11]


  1. 1 2 3 Yardley, William (September 10, 2013), "Zelmo Beaty, Undersize Force in Pro Basketball, Dies at 73", The New York Times
  2. http://www.star-telegram.com/sports/nba/article100398142.html
  3. http://www.pvpanthers.com/hof.aspx?hof=313&path=&kiosk=
  4. http://www.tshof.org/inductees/
  5. The Official NBA Basketball Encyclopedia. Villard Books. 1994. p. 379. ISBN 0-679-43293-0.
  6. "Basketball-Reference.com".
  7. The Official NBA Basketball Encyclopedia. Villard Books. 1994. p. 259. ISBN 0-679-43293-0.
  8. http://www.remembertheaba.com/ABAArticles/PattisonArticleBeaty.html
  9. Steve, Luhm (September 8, 2013), "Utah Stars great Zelmo Beaty dies", The Salt Lake Tribune
  10. "Zelmo Beaty Elected to College Hoops HOF". CBS St. Louis. March 25, 2014. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  11. Vivlamore, Chris (April 4, 2016). "Beaty, former St. Louis/Atlanta Hawk, elected to Hall of Fame". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
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