Melvin R. Hutchins (November 22, 1928 – December 19, 2018) was an American basketball player. He played professionally in the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1951 to 1958. Hutchins was selected by the Tri-Cities Blackhawks with the second pick in the 1951 NBA draft and was a four-time NBA All-Star.

Mel Hutchins
Mel Hutchins.jpg
Hutchins from the 1951 Banyan
Personal information
Born(1928-11-22)November 22, 1928
Sacramento, California
DiedDecember 19, 2018(2018-12-19) (aged 90)
Encinitas, California
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Listed weight200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High schoolMonrovia (Monrovia, California)
CollegeBYU (1947–1951)
NBA draft1951 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall
Selected by the Tri-Cities Blackhawks
Playing career1951–1958
PositionPower forward / Center
Number14, 2, 9, 4, 10
Career history
19511953Milwaukee Hawks
19531957Fort Wayne Pistons
1957–1958New York Knicks
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points4,851 (11.1 ppg)
Rebounds4,186 (9.6 rpg)
Assists1,298 (3.0 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Early lifeEdit

Hutchins was born in Sacramento, California and attended high school at Monrovia High School in Monrovia, California.[1][2][3]

College careerEdit

A 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) power forwardcenter, Hutchins attended Brigham Young University in 1946–47 and 1947–48 as a freshman and sophomore, playing for Coach Floyd Miller. After a one-year absence where he worked in Southern California, he returned to BYU in 1949–50 and 1950–51.

As a senior, he led BYU to the 1951 NIT National Championship.[4]

In 1950-1951, Hutchins averaged 15.4 points and 12.7 rebounds, as BYU finished 22-9 under Coach Stan Watts. His 471 rebounds that season remain a BYU record.[5][6]

At the conclusion of the 1951 season, Hutchins played in the annual East-West College All-Star game, where he was named MVP after leading the West to victory.

Professional careerEdit

Hutchins was selected by the Tri-Cities Blackhawks (later, the Milwaukee Hawks) with the second pick in the 1951 NBA draft.[4] The first overall pick, Gene Melchiorre (Baltimore Bullets), received a lifetime ban from the NBA for gambling, therefore Hutchins was given a $7,000 bonus that was awarded to the top pick in the NBA Draft.[7]

In 1952, as a rookie, Hutchins was the co-leader of the NBA in total rebounds with 880, averaging 13.3 rebounds per game, which is on the List of National Basketball Association rookie single-season rebounding leaders. As of 2018, Hutchins and Wilt Chamberlain are the only rookies in NBA history to lead the league in rebounding. Hutchins and Bill Tosheff were named co-NBA Rookie of the Year by newspaper writers—a designation not currently recognized by the NBA, although it has appeared in the official NBA record book as recently as 1998.[8][9]

Hutchins helped lead the Pistons to back-to-back NBA Finals in 1955 and 1956. During his career, Hutchins appeared in four NBA All-Star Games, (1953, 1954, 1956, and 1957), and finished fourth in MVP voting in 1956.[10] He played for the Milwaukee Hawks , Fort Wayne Pistons, and New York Knicks.

Along with being one of the top rebounders in the NBA, Hutchins was renowned for his defense.[11] During his Hall of Fame induction speech in August 2011, Satch Sanders said that Hutchins was one of the great defenders who inspired him to play defense at a high level: "He (Hutchins) was so smooth defensively, always in the right place", Sanders told CSNNE.com moments after delivering his acceptance speech. "I thought to myself, 'I sure hope one day I can play like that.'"[12]

Hutchins suffered a severe knee injury that forced his retirement in 1958.[7]

For his NBA career, he averaged a near double-double of 11.2 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists over 437 games, totaling 4,851 career points and 4,186 career rebounds in seven seasons.[13]

PersonalEdit

Hutchins is the brother of 1952 Miss America winner Colleen Kay Hutchins. Hutchins' brother-in-law was NBA player Ernie Vandeweghe. He is the uncle of former two-time NBA All Star Kiki Vandeweghe.[14]

An avid golfer, Hutchins gained recognition in amateur golf in northern California.[14][1]

Following his NBA career, Hutchins worked in real-estate.[4]

Hutchins was married to the former Lorene Hardy, who died in 2010, and they are the parents of four children. Hutchins died on December 19, 2018 in Encinitas, California at the age of 90.[15]

HonorsEdit

  • In 1976, Hutchins was induced into the Brigham Young University Athletics Hall of Fame.[7]
  • Hutchins was inducted into the Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame.[16]
  • On February 16, 2013, Hutchins and his BYU teammate Roland Minson had their jerseys retired during a ceremony at half-time of a BYU and University of Portland basketball game.[17][18]

NBA career statisticsEdit

Legend
  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
* Led the league

Regular seasonEdit

Year Team GP MPG FG% FT% RPG APG PPG
1951–52 Milwaukee 66 39.7 .365 .644 13.3* 2.9 9.2
1952–53 Milwaukee 71 40.7 .379 .654 11.2 3.2 11.7
1953–54 Fort Wayne 72 40.8 .401 .677 9.7 2.9 10.3
1954–55 Fort Wayne 72 39.7 .378 .708 9.2 3.4 12.0
1955–56 Fort Wayne 66 33.9 .425 .643 7.5 2.7 12.0
1956–57 Fort Wayne 72 36.8 .387 .738 7.9 2.9 12.4
1957–58 New York 18 21.3 .389 .558 4.8 1.9 7.0
Career 437 37.9 .389 .673 9.6 3.0 11.1
All-Star 4 28.5 .282 .500 5.3 1.8 6.5

PlayoffsEdit

Year Team GP MPG FG% FT% RPG APG PPG
1954 Fort Wayne 4 40.5 .326 .706 9.3 1.5 10.5
1955 Fort Wayne 11 37.9 .417 .679 8.1 2.8 14.4
1956 Fort Wayne 10 37.7 .304 .610 8.8 2.3 9.3
1957 Fort Wayne 2 34.0 .300 .714 11.5 5.0 11.5
Career 27 37.9 .355 .661 8.8 2.6 11.7

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Former BYU basketball great Mel Hutchins dead at 90". The Salt Lake Tribune.
  2. ^ Basket, Peach (September 19, 2017). "Peach Basket Society: Mel Hutchins".
  3. ^ "Melvin Hutchins Statistics". Justsportsstats.com. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Goldstein, Richard (December 21, 2018), "Mel Hutchins, B.Y.U. All-American and N.B.A. All-Star, Dies at 90", The New York Times
  5. ^ "Mel Hutchins College Stats". College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com.
  6. ^ "1950-51 BYU Cougars Roster and Stats". College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com.
  7. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 21, 2019. Retrieved January 20, 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Friedman, David (March 2, 2009). "Bill Tosheff: NBA Co-Rookie of the Year and Tireless Advocate for the "Pre-1965ers". 20 Second Timeout. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  9. ^ Goldstein, Allan (October 30, 1994). "NBA forgot it honored Hoffman". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  10. ^ Bradley, Robert. "All-Time Most Valuable Player Voting". The Association for Professional Basketball Research. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
  11. ^ Ramsey, David (April 9, 2010). "When the Dust Settled". NBA Playoff Encyclopedia. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
  12. ^ Blakely, A. Sherrod (August 13, 2011). "Satch's induction honors contributions on, off the court". Celtics Insider. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
  13. ^ "Mel Hutchins Stats". Basketball-Reference.com.
  14. ^ a b Goldstein, Richard (November 9, 2014). "Ernie Vandeweghe, Knick and Physician, Dies at 86" – via NYTimes.com.
  15. ^ Drew, Jay (December 20, 2018), "Former BYU basketball great Mel Hutchins dead at 90", The Salt Lake Tribune
  16. ^ "sactosports-hof - Mel Hutchins". Sactosports-hof.
  17. ^ Harmon, Dick (February 16, 2013). "Dick Harmon: BYU retires jerseys of two storied basketball players, Minnie and Hutch". Deseret News. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
  18. ^ Herald, Daily. "BYU to retire the jerseys of Mel Hutchins and Roland Minson". Daily Herald.

External linksEdit