On this day in Boston Celtics history, small forward Frankie Sanders signed with the team as a free agent after having been cut by the team that drafted him that very year.
A native of Dayton, Ohio, Sanders played his college ball at Southern University and then later transferred to A&M College, from which he was picked up by the San Antonio Spurs with the 20th overall pick of the 1978 NBA draft. He would play a mere 22 games for that club before getting in trouble with drugs and nightlife, finding the NBA much more challenging to function in than at the collegiate level.
There, his handlers looked out for him at every step of the way.
Frankie J. Sanders, left, of the Boston Celtics, indicates the way the play is going as Bernard King of the New Jersey Nets juggles and intercepted pass during second quarter NBA action in Boston, April 8, 1979. (AP Photo)
The Spurs had had enough by December, and the Celtics were there waiting with an offer to tender the troubled young wing.
Things didn’t work out for Sanders with Boston either, however, the team electing not to bring him back after less than a full season with the team.
He averaged 5.5 points and 2.1 rebounds over his 24 games with the team in the 1978-79 season.
It is also the birthday of Celtic center Marty Conlon, born this day in 1968 in the Bronx, New York, New York.
An alum of Providence College, Conlon would just miss playing for his former collegiate coach Rick Pitino by a season, joining the Celtics as a free agent in 1996 and getting waived in July, 1997 by Pitino to make room for the signing of former UConn standout Travis Knight.
The New Yorker would play 74 games for Boston, averaging 7.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game with the team.
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