The 1952 NBA draft was the sixth annual draft of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The draft was held on April 26, 1952, before the 1952–53 season. In this draft, ten remaining NBA teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players. In each round, the teams selected in reverse order of their win–loss record in the previous season, except for the defending champion, the Minneapolis Lakers, who was assigned the last pick of each round. The draft consisted of 17 rounds comprising 106 players selected.
|1952 NBA draft|
|Date(s)||April 26, 1952|
|106 total selections in 17 rounds|
|First selection||Mark Workman, Milwaukee Hawks|
Mark Workman from West Virginia University was selected first overall by the Milwaukee Hawks. Bill Mlkvy from Temple University was selected before the draft as Philadelphia Warriors' territorial pick. Don Meineke from the University of Dayton was selected by the Fort Wayne Pistons in the second round and went on to win the inaugural Rookie of the Year Award. Ninth pick of the draft, Clyde Lovellette from University of Kansas, was the only player from that draft to make it to an NBA All-Star Game at least once and to have been inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
10th round pick Gene Conley played both professional basketball and baseball. He played six seasons in the NBA for the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks as well as 11 seasons in the Major League Baseball (MLB). He won three NBA championships with the Celtics as well as the 1957 World Series with the Milwaukee Braves, becoming the only athlete to win world championships in both basketball and baseball.
Dick Groat from Duke was picked 3rd overall by the Fort Wayne Pistons and went on to win the National League 1960 MVP, and two World Series championships while playing shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates and then the St. Louis Cardinals.
|^||Denotes player who has been inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame|
|#||Denotes player who never appeared in an NBA regular season or playoff game|
|T||–||Bill Mlkvy||F||United States||Philadelphia Warriors||Temple|
|1||1||Mark Workman||F/C||United States||Milwaukee Hawks||West Virginia|
|1||2||Jim Baechtold||G/F||United States||Baltimore Bullets||Eastern Kentucky|
|1||3||Dick Groat||G||United States||Fort Wayne Pistons||Duke|
|1||4||Joe Dean#||G||United States||Indianapolis Olympians||LSU|
|1||5||Ralph Polson||F/C||United States||New York Knicks||Whitworth|
|1||6||Bill Stauffer#||F||United States||Boston Celtics||Missouri|
|1||7||Bob Lochmueller||F||United States||Syracuse Nationals||Louisville|
|1||8||Chuck Darling#||F/C||United States||Rochester Royals||Iowa|
|1||9||Clyde Lovellette^||F/C||United States||Minneapolis Lakers||Kansas|
|2||10||Eddie Miller||F/C||United States||Milwaukee Hawks||Syracuse|
|2||11||Blaine Denning||G||United States||Baltimore Bullets||Lawrence Tech|
|2||12||Don Meineke||F/C||United States||Fort Wayne Pistons||Dayton|
|2||13||Walt Davis||F/C||United States||Philadelphia Warriors||Texas A&M|
|2||14||Bob Zawoluk||F/C||United States||Indianapolis Olympians||St. John's|
|2||15||Roy Belliveau#||–||United States||New York Knicks||Seton Hall|
|2||16||Jim Iverson#||G||United States||Boston Celtics||Kansas State|
|2||17||Jim Brasco||G||United States||Syracuse Nationals||NYU|
|2||18||Bryant Ivey#||–||United States||Rochester Royals||Alabama|
|2||19||Tom Ackerman#||–||United States||Minneapolis Lakers||West Liberty State|
|3||21||Chuck Grigsby||G||United States||Baltimore Bullets||Dayton|
|3||25||Dick Bunt||G||United States||New York Knicks||NYU|
|4||35||Bert Cook||G/F||United States||New York Knicks||Utah State|
|4||37||Herm Hedderick||G||United States||Boston Celtics||Canisius|
|4||38||Ronnie MacGilvray||G||United States||Rochester Royals||St. John's|
|5||40||George McLeod||F||United States||Milwaukee Hawks||TCU|
|5||43||Tom Brennan||F||United States||Philadelphia Warriors||Villanova|
|5||44||Gene Rhodes||G||United States||Indianapolis Olympians||Western Kentucky|
|5||47||Ken McBride||G/F||United States||Syracuse Nationals||Maryland State|
|6||58||Jack McMahon||G||United States||Rochester Royals||St. John's|
|6||59||Jim Holstein||G/F||United States||Minneapolis Lakers||Cincinnati|
|7||61||Bob Priddy||F||United States||Baltimore Bullets||New Mexico A&M|
|7||64||Skippy Whitaker||G||United States||Indianapolis Olympians||Kentucky|
|8||73||Moe Radovich||G||United States||Philadelphia Warriors||Wyoming|
|8||75||Dick Surhoff||F||United States||New York Knicks||Long Island|
|10||90||Gene Conley||F/C||United States||Boston Celtics||Washington State|
|11||93||Bob Peterson||F||United States||Baltimore Bullets||Oregon|
|11||96||Carl McNulty||G||United States||Minneapolis Lakers||Purdue|
|12||97||Jim Walsh||F||United States||Baltimore Bullets||Stanford|
Bertram E. "Bert" Cook (April 26, 1929 – November 24, 1998) was an American professional basketball player. Cook was selected in the 1952 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks after a collegiate career at Utah State. He played for the Knicks in 37 games during the 1954–55 season.Bill Mlkvy
William Paul "Bill" Mlkvy (born January 19, 1931) is a retired American professional basketball player who spent his one-year career with the Philadelphia Warriors (now the Golden State Warriors). Philadelphia selected Mlkvy with a territorial pick of the 1952 NBA draft out of Temple University.
A 6'4" (1.93 m) and 190 lb (86 kg) forward, he was nicknamed "The Owl without a Vowel." His parents, John and Margaret, migrated to the United States in 1907 from present-day Slovakia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, when his father got a job with The New Jersey Zinc Company. Mlkvy is one of eight children.After being drafted, Mlkvy continued with his schooling, attending Temple's dental school while playing with the Warriors. After his rookie season, Warriors general manager and coach Eddie Gottlieb made Mlkvy choose between school and basketball. Mlkvy initially chose basketball but changed course when he was informed that he would be drafted into the United States Army as a private if he was no longer enrolled in school but, if he finished school, he would be drafted as a dental officer.Mlkvy finished dental school the following year and enlisted in the Army as a dentist and served for six years, eventually reaching the rank of major and serving in the Korean War.In 1992, Mlkvy was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.Bill Stauffer
William Albert Stauffer (June 9, 1930 – November 26, 2015) was an American basketball player. He was an all-conference college player at the University of Missouri and a first-round NBA draft pick by the Boston Celtics in 1952.Stauffer came to Missouri from Maryville High School in Maryville, Missouri. His father Marion Stauffer was publisher of the Stauffer Communications newspaper Maryville Daily Forum.Undersized for the center position at 6'4", he nonetheless was one of the Big Seven Conference's top rebounders and left Missouri as the school's all-time leader. He was named first-team All-Big Seven in both his junior and senior seasons. Stauffer's jersey was the first retired by the Missouri basketball program and in 1991 he was elected to the school's athletic Hall of Fame. In 2006, he was named to the school's All-Century team.Following the close of his college career, Stauffer was selected by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 1952 NBA draft. However, he chose to instead enlist in the United States Air Force where he played basketball for the Andrews Air Force Base team that won the Air Force worldwide championship in 1954.After leaving the Air Force in 1954 he worked at the Louisiana Press-Journal in Louisiana, Missouri and then from 1955 to 1963 in at Stauffer newspapers York News-Times and Grand Island Independent in Nebraska. He then worked at Blue Cross-Blue Shield, Iowa before retiring in 1992.
He died at 85 on November 26, 2015 from a brain hemorrhage.Blaine Denning
Blaine Denning (September 19, 1930 - January 25, 2016) was an American former professional basketball player. Denning was selected in the 1952 NBA Draft by the Baltimore Bullets after a collegiate career at Lawrence Technological University. He played for the Bullets in just one game in December 1952; he scored five points and grabbed four rebounds.Bobby Watson (basketball)
Bobby Watson (March 22, 1930 – January 31, 2017) was a guard who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Watson was drafted by the Milwaukee Hawks in the 1952 NBA draft. He first played in the NBA with the Minneapolis Lakers in 1954 before being traded back to the Milwaukee Hawks for Lew Hitch.
He died on January 31, 2017 at the age of 86.Dick Bunt
Richard J. Bunt (born July 13, 1930) is a retired American basketball player.
He played collegiately for New York University and was selected by the New York Knicks in the 1952 NBA draft.
Bunt played for the Knicks and Baltimore Bullets in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for 26 games. After he finished his NBA career, he was a physical education teacher at William C. Bryant High School in Astoria, Queens, New York.Dick Surhoff
Richard C. "Dick" Surhoff, Jr. (November 16, 1929 – May 1, 1987) was an American professional basketball player. Surhoff was selected in the 1952 NBA draft by the New York Knicks after a collegiate career at Long Island and John Marshall College. He played for two seasons, one for the Knicks and the other for the Milwaukee Hawks.Dick Surhoff was the father of professional baseball players Rick and B. J. Surhoff. He was also the grandfather of Brian and Colin Moran.Eddie Miller (basketball)
Edwin B. Miller (June 18, 1931 – April 9, 2014) was a former National Basketball Association player. Miller was drafted by the Milwaukee Hawks in the second round of the 1952 NBA draft. Later into the season, Miller was traded to the Baltimore Bullets for George Ratkovicz. Following the Bullets' fold, Miller was drafted in the dispersal draft by the Boston Celtics, but did not play a regular season game with the team.George McLeod (basketball)
George McLeod is a former forward who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was drafted by the Milwaukee Hawks in the 1952 NBA draft. In 1953, he was traded along with Don Boven and Pete Darcey to the Baltimore Bullets for Stan Miasek and Dave Minor.Jack McMahon
John Joseph McMahon (December 3, 1928 – June 11, 1989) was a professional basketball player and coach. A 6'1" guard from St. John's University, McMahon was selected by the Rochester Royals in the 1952 NBA draft. He played eight seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA), for Rochester and the St. Louis Hawks.
McMahon became a successful coach in the American Basketball League, the NBA and the American Basketball Association (ABA), with eleven seasons as a head coach in the three leagues. His first coaching stint was with the Kansas City Steers of the ABL (1961–62 season). The following season, he began coaching in the NBA with the Chicago Zephyrs in the 1962–63 season. He would also coach the Cincinnati Royals, the San Diego Rockets, and the ABA's Pittsburgh Condors.Jim Iverson
James D. Iverson (born August 22, 1930) is an American former basketball player and coach. After a college career at Kansas State (KSU), he was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the second round of the 1952 NBA draft. Iverson later coached South Dakota State University from 1956 to 1965, winning the 1963 NCAA College Division Tournament.
Iverson was a high school star at Platte High School in Platte, South Dakota, where he was named all-state three times. He played college basketball at Kansas State, where he started three seasons for coach Jack Gardner. In his three seasons there, the wildcats won two Big Seven Conference titles and in 1951 played for the NCAA title, losing to the Kentucky Wildcats. Iverson also played baseball at KSU.Following the close of his Kansas State career, Iverson was drafted in the second round of the 1952 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics. He served two years in the U. S. Army, then joined the Celtics for the 1954–55 preseason. However, he was one of the final cuts for the team.After his playing career, Iverson coached several service teams in the United States and Japan before earning the head coaching position at South Dakota State (SDSU) in 1956. Iverson had success at SDSU, winning a North Central Conference title in 1959, then leading the Jackrabbits to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) College Division title in 1963, defeating Wittenburg 44–42 on a last-second shot. Iverson was ultimately fired in 1965 for providing excessive aid to student athletes, when it came to light that he had given player Maurice White $275.Mark Workman
Mark Cecil Workman (born March 10, 1930 – December 21, 1983) was an American professional basketball player from Charleston, West Virginia. He played collegiately at West Virginia University. Workman was the first overall pick in the 1952 NBA draft, by the Milwaukee Hawks.Moe Radovich
George Lewis "Moe" Radovich (May 5, 1929 – June 18, 2004) was an American professional basketball player and college head coach. Radovich was selected in the 1952 NBA draft by the Philadelphia Warriors after a collegiate career at Wyoming. He played for the Warriors in November 1952 in only four games, averaging 3.5 points, 0.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists per contest. Radovich was also a college coach for Fullerton Junior College, and Wyoming.Ralph Polson
Ralph Polson (born October 26, 1929) is a former National Basketball Association (NBA) player. Polson was drafted with the fifth pick in the first round of the 1952 NBA draft. On December 11, 1952 Polson was sold from the Knicks to the Philadelphia Warriors. In Polson's one NBA season, he averaged 3.9 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.Rod Fletcher (basketball)
Rodney Adams "Rod" Fletcher is an American former basketball player for the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign who was named a consensus First Team NCAA All-American as a senior in 1951–52. A 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) guard, Fletcher led the Fighting Illini to two straight Big Ten Conference championships as well as two consecutive NCAA Tournament Final Four appearances in 1951 and 1952 alongside teammate John "Red" Kerr. He was a two-time All-Big Ten selection in his three varsity seasons, and at the end of his collegiate career Fletcher was selected by the Minneapolis Lakers in the 1952 NBA draft, although he never played professionally.Fletcher grew up in Champaign, Illinois and attended Champaign Central High School, where he was named second team all-state as a senior in 1948 by the Champaign News Gazette.Ronnie MacGilvray
Ronald "Ronnie" MacGilvray (born July 20, 1930) is a retired American professional basketball player. He played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Milwaukee Hawks in 1954–55. He played collegiately at St. John's and was selected in the 1952 NBA draft by the Rochester Royals.
As a senior in 1951–52, MacGilvray was selected as the Haggerty Award winner, given annually since 1935–36 to the best men's college basketball player in the New York City metropolitan area. He was the seventh winner from St. John's in the award's short history.
In the NBA, he played only one season. As a member of the Milwaukee Hawks, MacGilvray averaged 1.3 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game in six games played.Skippy Whitaker
Lucian Cary "Skippy" Whitaker (August 29, 1930 – August 1990) was an American basketball player. He won an NCAA championship at the University of Kentucky in 1951 and played briefly in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Whitaker, a 6'1 guard, played collegiately at Kentucky for Adolph Rupp. As a junior, he was a member of the Wildcats' 1951 national championship team.He was drafted by the Indianapolis Olympians in the 1952 NBA draft. However, his only NBA action came playing three games for the Boston Celtics during the 1954–55 NBA season. Whitaker scored 2 points in his 15 total minutes in the NBA.Tom Brennan (basketball, born 1930)
Thomas F. Brennan (August 6, 1930 – February 11, 1990) was an American basketball player. He played collegiately for the Villanova University. Brennan was selected by the Philadelphia Warriors in the 1952 NBA draft. He played for the Warriors (1954–55) in the NBA for 11 games.Walt Davis
Walter Francis Davis (born January 5, 1931) is a retired American athlete. After winning a gold medal in the high jump at the 1952 Olympics he became a professional basketball player.
Despite contracting polio at age nine and being unable to walk for three years, Davis had a standout athletic career at Texas A&M University and later won Olympic gold in the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland, with a leap of 2.04 metres (6 ft 8 1⁄4 in).
The Philadelphia Warriors selected the 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) Davis in the second round of the 1952 NBA draft. He spent five seasons with the Warriors and St. Louis Hawks, averaging 4.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.Davis was Inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1964 and to the Texas Track and Field Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2016.
1952 NBA draft
1952–53 NBA season by team