Richard E. Atha (September 21, 1931 – February 6, 2020) was an American basketball player and coach.

Dick Atha
Personal information
Born(1931-09-21)September 21, 1931
Otterbein, Indiana
DiedFebruary 6, 2020(2020-02-06) (aged 88)
Oxford, Indiana
Listed height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Listed weight190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High schoolOtterbein (Otterbein, Indiana)
CollegeIndiana State (1950–1953)
NBA draft1953 / Round: 6 / Pick: 50th overall
Selected by the New York Knicks
Playing career1955–1958
PositionPoint guard
Number17, 7
Career history
1955–1956New York Knicks
1957–1958Detroit Pistons
Career statistics
Stats at

Basketball careerEdit

He played collegiately for the Indiana State Sycamores and scored 1,119 career points. He led the team in scoring during the 1951-52 and 1952-53 seasons. He was a 3-time All-Indiana Collegiate Conference guard and was selected as an All-American for the 1953 season;[by whom?] leading the Sycamores to a 3rd-place finish in the National NAIA Tournament. He started every game during his 3-yr varsity career (85 games). He has a career high 32 points vs Arkansas Tech, in the 2nd round of the 1952-53 NAIA Tournament[1]

During his sophomore season, (1950–51), Atha was a member of the US National Men's Basketball team; he averaged 4.3 ppg in helping the U.S. to a 6-0 record and the first gold medal in Pan Am Games history.[2]

He was selected by the New York Knicks in the 1953 NBA Draft; however, he served two years in the United States Army before beginning his professional career; he played for the Knicks (1955–56) and Fort Wayne Pistons (now the Detroit Pistons) (1957–58) in the NBA for 43 games before an injury ended his playing career.

Later careerEdit

Following his NBA career, Atha was the head basketball coach at Oxford High for ten seasons. When Oxford High consolidated into Benton Central High School in Oxford, Indiana, he became the principal, serving during the 1970s and 1980s. He moved to the athletic director post in the summer of 1986, and retired from that position in 1997.

He was inducted into the Indiana State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1984[3] and into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988.[4]

Atha died on February 6, 2020 at age 88.[5][6]


  1. ^ Benson, Michael (2007-09-27). Everything You Wanted to Know About the New York Knicks: A Who's Who of Everyone Who Ever Played On or Coached the NBA's Most Celebrated Team. Taylor Trade Publishing. ISBN 9781461734789.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Dick Atha - Indiana State Athletics Hall of Fame - Official Web Site of Indiana State Athletics". Archived from the original on 2016-08-05. Retrieved 2016-05-26.
  4. ^ "Dick Atha | Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2016-05-26.
  5. ^ Golden, Todd Aaron (February 6, 2020). "ISU basketball legend Atha dies at 88". Tribune-Star. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
  6. ^ [1]

External linksEdit