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Former Spurs shooting guard Bird Averitt dies

The ABA Champion had NBA crossover appeal.

Milwaukee Bucks v San Diego Clippers Photo by NBA Photos/NBAE via Getty Images

William Rodney “Bird” Averitt passed away this past weekend.

The 1973 NCAA scoring leader and West Coast Conference Player of the Year was drafted in 1975 by the NBA and the ABA. Chosen in the forth round of the NBA draft by the Portland Trail Blazers, Bird chose the ABA route. He was originally drafted in the second round by the San Diego Conquistadors. Instead, he spent his rookie season with the San Antonio Spurs.

Averitt averaged 11.5 points per game along with 1.8 assists and just under one steal per game.

Alas, one season was the end of the road as Bird headed northeast back home to Kentucky where he helped the Colonels to win the 1975 ABA Championship. His two seasons in Kentucky saw some of his best stats in scoring, rebounding, and assists.

Averitt crossed over into the NBA with the Buffalo Braves (who became the San Diego Clippers, and eventually the Los Angeles Clippers). He also played with the New Jersey Nets after the ABA/NBA merger.

Averitt died on Saturday, December 12th. No cause of death has been released nor have funeral arrangements been announced.

Averitt moved back to Hopkinsville after retiring from basketball. In the mid-1990s he survived a car accident that left him partially disabled.

Bird is survived by his daughters, Shayla Averitt and Temeshia Faulkner, as well as a number of grandchildren.

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