Aug. 13, 2010
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Purdue men's basketball program gained yet another representative in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday when former Boilermaker great Terry Dischinger was inducted as part of the gold medal-winning 1960 USA Olympic Team.
The fourth Boilermaker to enter the Hall of Fame, Dischinger joined Ward "Piggy" Lambert, Charles "Stretch" Murphy and John Wooden (enshrined as both a player and coach) in the basketball shrine.
The 1960 USA Olympic Team was enshrined alongside the 1992 USA "Dream Team," Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss, legendary high school coach Bob Hurley, Sr., and players Cynthia Cooper, Dennis Johnson, Gus Johnson, Karl Malone, Maciel Pereira and Scottie Pippen.
"Terry was a player who was ahead of his time," Purdue athletics director Morgan Burke said. "A skilled team player with an intense desire to compete and win, he made those around him better while recognizing everyone's contributions. Terry's respect for Purdue continues unabated today, and despite calling Portland his home, he is a visible figure at many Purdue football and basketball games each year."
Dischinger became the second Boilermaker to win an international gold medal when he teamed with fellow Hall of Famers Walt Bellamy, Jerry Lucas, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West to lead Team USA to an 8-0 record and the gold medal at the XVII Olympiad in Rome. The U.S. averaged 101.9 points per game while limiting opponents to just 59.5 per contest for a 42.4-point average margin of victory.
A native of Terre Haute, Ind., Dischinger remains one of the most decorated players in Purdue history. A three-time All-American and first-team All-Big Ten selection, he was named to Purdue's Centennial All-Time Men's Basketball Team in 1997. He currently owns program records for rebounding average (13.7), free throws (713), free throw attempts (871) and double-doubles (58), and ranks second in Purdue history in rebounds (958), third in scoring average (28.3), fifth in points (1,979), eighth in field goals (633) and 10th in both field goal percentage (.553) and free throw percentage (.819).
Dischinger was selected by the Chicago Zephyrs in the 1962 NBA Draft, and won Rookie of the Year honors in 1963 after averaging more than 25 points and eight rebounds per game in his initial campaign. An All-Star in each of his first three NBA seasons, Dischinger took a two-year hiatus from the league to serve in the U.S. Army, where he was named MVP of the Army All-Pacific Team.
He returned to the NBA in 1967 and played until 1973, when he retired after nine seasons with career averages of 13.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, and a .506 field goal percentage.
Dischinger, who is also a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame and the Purdue Athletics Hall of Fame, is a member of Purdue's Groben Society, having endowed a scholarship for men's basketball along with his wife, Mary, in 1999.
The 2010-11 season will mark the 50th anniversary of Dischinger's 1960-61 Purdue squad, leaving the potential that Purdue's newest Hall of Fame inductee will return to Mackey Arena and provide Boilermaker fans with the opportunity to voice their appreciation of his and the team's accomplishments.