John Drew (basketball)
John Edward Drew (born September 30, 1954) is a retired American professional basketball player. A 6'6" guard/forward from Gardner–Webb University, he played 11 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Drew was a two-time NBA All-Star, and was one of the earliest casualties of the drug policy instituted by commissioner David Stern.
Drew in 1974
|Born||September 30, 1954|
|Listed height||6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)|
|Listed weight||205 lb (93 kg)|
|High school||J. F. Shields (Beatrice, Alabama)|
|NBA draft||1974 / Round: 2 / Pick: 25th overall|
|Selected by the Atlanta Hawks|
|Position||Small forward / Power forward|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||15,291 (20.7 ppg)|
|Rebounds||5,088 (6.9 rpg)|
|Steals||1,004 (1.4 spg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Born in Vredenburgh, Alabama, a small town in Monroe County, John Drew attended J.F. Shields High School in Beatrice, Alabama. There, John led the school to its first State championship. He was coached by Alabama Hall of Fame Coach Willie Averett and played alongside teammate Jerome Sanders, who went on to also be inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. Following high school, Drew played basketball at Gardner–Webb University.
Selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the 7th pick (in the 2nd round) of the 1974 NBA draft, Drew quickly made an impact with the club, averaging 18.5 points per game, 10.7 rebounds per game, and leading the NBA in offensive rebounding during his rookie season (Drew was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team for his efforts). From 1974 to 1982, the immensely talented Drew starred for the Hawks, with whom he was a two-time All-Star, averaging more than 20 points per game on five occasions. After being traded by Atlanta for Dominique Wilkins, Drew played three seasons (1982–1985) with the Utah Jazz, retiring with 15,291 career points. He joined Artis Gilmore and Eddie Lee Wilkins as the only alumni of Gardner–Webb University to play in the NBA.
Drew battled cocaine addiction during his professional basketball career. He missed 38 games during the 1982-83 season as he spent eight weeks in drug rehab. He made a successful return in 1983-84 and won the league's Comeback Player of the Year award, but relapsed the next season and was waived by the Jazz, then was arrested in 1985 for passing bad checks. After seeking treatment for the fourth time in his career, Drew became the first player to be banned by NBA commissioner David Stern for multiple violations of the league's new substance abuse policy, despite not being on an NBA roster at the time of his arrest, and he could not seek reinstatement until the 1987-88 season. Drew played for the Wyoming Wildcatters of the Continental Basketball Association in 1985-86, becoming an All-Star in the CBA. Drew opined that the NBA's drug policy "will keep guys from coming forward and admitting they still have a problem." The Washington Bullets expressed interest in signing him that season but were prohibited from doing so by the league due to his past infractions.
Drew's career ended in 1986 after he was arrested in Atlanta twice in less than three months, first on October 2 for selling cocaine to an undercover agent and then on December 17 for cocaine possession and purchasing the drug from an undercover agent.
He disappeared from the public eye thereafter and his whereabouts remained unknown until 2002, when he claimed to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he "finally" had a grip on his addiction without going into further details.
NBA career statisticsEdit
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
- Regular Season Records: Turnovers. Retrieved on October 15, 2009.
- Johnson, Roy S. (February 27, 1983). "An Athlete, A Cocaine Addict: John Drew Fights For His Life". New York Times. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
- McManis, Sam (February 4, 1986). "Drew, a Three-Time Offender, Hopes to Return". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
- "Drew Opposes Ban". New York Times. January 31, 1986. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
- "Former Atlanta Hawks star John Drew Monday was sentenced". UPI. January 13, 1987. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
- Associated Press (December 17, 1986). "John Drew, Ex-NBA Star, Free on Bond After Another Drug-Related Arrest". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
- Bisher, Furman (October 25, 2002). "Drew found, finding his way". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved April 21, 2018.