“Race, Power, and Politics in the NBA,” by Wayne Embry, posed the wonderful basketball trivia question:
Who is the only player to play on NCAA, NBA and ABA championship teams?
Answer: Tom (Doggie) Thacker, who I met up with while both of us were among the Class of 2016 (17 people and the Miami of Ohio teams from 1957-59)inducted by the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame at Columbus Saturday night.
Here’s another piece of trivia: Tom, who had starred on the 1961-62 University of Cincinnati NCAA champions, was taken by the Chicago Bulls– along with me and my old roommate, Johnny Kerr – in the 1966 expansion draft. Johnny and I became the team’s coaching staff and Thacker, who had played three so-so seasons with
Embry’s Cincinnati Royals, was put on waivers when we trimmed down to 12 players in the Bulls’ September training camp.
Herein lies the “rest of the story” of which Tom reminded me in Columbus. Everyone knows he joined the Boston Celtics the next season, thereby earning the NBA ring (1968) he would later supplement with one from the ABA-champion Indiana Pacers (1971). But few recall that, in that 1966-67 season between the Bulls’ camp and the Celtics,Thacker signed on with the Muskegon Panthers of the semi-pro North American Basketball League. And the Panthers, with Thacker in a starring role, won the NABL championship! Tom,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Thacker_(basketball) gets a big chuckle out of divulging that little-known fact.