Larry Joe Bird was born in December of 1956 and is listed among the greatest NBA basketball players of all time. His induction to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame took place in 1988. In 1978, he was the sixth overall draft pick, taken by the Boston Celtics, with whom he spent his entire 13-year career. He played small forward and power forward positions for the team. Bird retired as a player in 1992, proceeding to take a position as assistant in the front office for the Celtics until 1997. At that time, he became the head coach for the Indiana Pacers and remained so until 2000. In 2003, he took on the job of president of basketball operations for the Pacers, which he still holds.
Born in West Baden Springs, Indiana, Bird grew up here and in the neighboring town of French Lick (thus the nickname “Hick from French Lick”). Bird’s family had financial troubles throughout his childhood, but his mother always made sure the children had what was needed. At times, Bird was sent to live with his grandmother due to the family’s struggles.
In high school, Bird was a star player and left his high school as its all time scorer. He attended Indiana University in 1976 on a basketball scholarship (a school with one of the best college basketball programs in the nation), but left the school, homesick, after only a month. He attended community college for a brief stint, then enrolled in Indiana State University, leading his basketball team to the NCAA Championships in 1979 (his senior year).