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Slick Leonard voted into Hall of Fame

The SportsXchange

Bob "Slick" Leonard, who coached the Indiana Pacers to three American Basketball Association championships, was voted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame by the ABA committee, the Hall of Fame announced Friday.

Leonard, who coached the Pacers to ABA titles in 1970, 1972 and 1973, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in September.

Leonard had the number 529 (his number of coaching victories) retired by the Pacers. He currently is in his 29th year with the team as a broadcaster after coaching the team from 1968 to 1980.

Leonard also was part of a national championship team at Indiana University and played and coached in the NBA.

"It took a little while, but we're going out in style," said Leonard, who grew up in Terre Haute, Indiana. "For me, it's a legacy for your children and your grandchildren. It's great recognition again for the ABA Pacers, the Pacers' franchise and it's also great recognition for the State of Indiana and its basketball history and tradition at all levels, high school, college and professional."

"I couldn't be happier for Slick Leonard, who has meant so much to this franchise, this city and this state," said Pacers' Owner Herb Simon. "It's a well-deserved honor and makes all of us with the Pacers very proud. Boom Baby!"

"Personally, I'm very happy for the Leonard family," said Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird. "I have always had the utmost respect for Slick, for his college career, his NBA career, his ABA career and his broadcasting career with the Pacers. He is what Indiana basketball is all about, from his knowledge of its history to the success he has had with the game. He's very deserving and definitely has earned his spot in the Hall of Fame. When you think of the Indiana Pacers, you think of Bob Leonard. Congratulations, my dear friend."

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