ABA, Pershing legend Mel Daniels dies at 71

The Detroit News

Mel Daniels, who starred at Detroit Pershing High and went on to become one of the first stars of the American Basketball Association, died Friday in Indianapolis at age 71.

Daniels was a two-time ABA most valuable player and was elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012. He led the Pacers to three ABA titles, led the league in rebounding three times and finished his career as the league’s all-time leading rebounder.

Daniels, who played collegiately at New Mexico, was drafted by Cincinnati in the first round in 1967, but became the first first-round pick to choose the ABA over the NBA.