The Billikens men’s basketball team of Saint Louis University has participated in six NCAA Tournaments and sent 11 players to the NBA. The best NBA basketball players from St. Louis University include Hall of Fame Celtic Ed Macauley and active defensive great Larry Hughes.
Ed Macauley was the first and only NBA basketball player from St. Louis University to earn a spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame. The two-time All-American forward was an early NBA great for the Celtics and Hawks in the 1950s. Macauley made his NBA debut in 1949 and joined the Celtics in 1950 as one of the pioneers of Celtic success. He was named an All-Star in each of his six seasons in Boston. He had his top statistical season in 1952-53 with 20.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game. In 1956, he left Boston as the second leading scorer in team history behind Bob Cousy.
Macauley spent another three seasons in the NBA as a member of the Hawks and he earned a seventh consecutive All-Star selection in 1957. In 1958, he won a championship with the Hawks in his last season as a major contributor. He tallied 11,234 points and 4,325 rebounds in his ten-year career with lifetime averages of 17.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in 641 NBA games.
Guard Larry Hughes is the only remaining active NBA basketball player from St. Louis University. Hughes was the third and most recent first round pick from St. Louis University; after averaging 20.9 points in his freshman and only collegiate season, he was taken eighth overall in the 1998 NBA Draft by the 76ers. He struggled to find his groove in 100 games with the Sixers, but after a trade to the Warriors he began to put together some impressive performances. In two-plus seasons in Golden State, Hughes averaged 15.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.7 steals per game.
After his stint with the Warriors, Hughes returned to the east with the Wizards and had his best professional season. In 2004-05, Hughes averaged career highs across the board with 22.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and an NBA-leading 2.9 steals per contest; after the season, he was awarded a spot on the All-Defensive First Team. Through 12 seasons with seven different teams, Hughes has accumulated 10,230 points, 3,034 rebounds, 2,283 assists, and 1,090 steals.
Another top NBA basketball player from St. Louis University was Bob Ferry, a power forward from the 1960s. After earning All-America honors as a senior, Ferry was the highest ever draft pick out of St. Louis as he was chosen seventh overall in 1959 by the Hawks. He spent four solid seasons with the Detroit Pistons, averaging 12.3 points and 6.3 rebounds in 312 games with the organization. In ten seasons, he totaled 5,780 points and 3,343 boards. Bob Ferry is the father of former Cavs’ player and general manager Danny Ferry.