Artis Gilmore
Artis Gilmore

A two-time All-America honoree in 1969-70 and 1970-71, Gilmore led the nation in rebounding both seasons and helped the Dolphins to an NCAA Finals appearance in 1970. He finished his career with 1,312 points (24.3 average) and 1,224 rebounds (22.7).


Along with his many accolades, Gilmore is also the NCAA career record holder with 22.7 rebounds per game. He still holds eight JU single-season or career records. Additionally, Gilmore was listed 38th on the Street & Smith's 100 Greatest College Basketball Players. Gilmore was named 1971 Consensus National "Player of the Year" and earned All-America honors as a senior after leading the nation in rebounding (603, 23.2 rpg) and ranking sixth in scoring (570, 21.9 ppg). As a junior, he was first in the nation with a 22.2 rebounding average and 10th with a .580 field goal percentage to lead the Dolphins to a program-best 27-2 record and a berth in the NCAA National Championship game against UCLA.

Prior to JU, he was a two-year letterwinner at Gardner-Webb Junior College (now know as Gardner-Webb University in the Atlantic Sun Conference). His performances earned National Junior College Athletic Association honors in two seasons with the Bulldogs by grabbing 1,150 rebounds. He has his #53 jersey retired at both Jacksonville University and Gardner-Webb University.

After his time in a Dolphin uniform, Gilmore enjoyed an 18-year career with the American Basketball Association (ABA) and National Basketball Association (NBA). He was the first selection of the 1971 ABA draft by the Kentucky Colonels. In the same year, he was named ABA's MVP and "Rookie of the Year" with the Colonels in 1971.

Gilmore helped the Colonels win the 1975 ABA Championships. He still holds the ABA single-single blocked shots record with 422 while also holding the ABA all-time honors for rebounds per game with 40. Along with this, he won the rebounding crown in four out of the five seasons he played in the league.

In 1975, Gilmore was the top pick by the Chicago Bulls in the NBA re-entry draft. Artis spent 12 seasons in the NBA with Chicago (1976-82, 1987-88), San Antonio (1983-87) and Boston Celtics (1970-72). He was once the career lead in the NBA with a .599 field-goal percentage. Gilmore is currently the third-highest shot blocker in professional basketball history with 3,178 swats and is the fourth-highest in rebounds with 16,330.

Gilmore is considered the game's career top left-handed scorer with 24,941 points, which ranks 14th all-time in professional basketball history. His stardom was well known as he was an all-star in 11 out of 17 professionals.