It comes as no surprise to Bailey Howell fans that in 1997 he received one of basketball’s highest honors when he was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. After all, the Tennessee native is considered the all-time best player in Mississippi State University history. He had a storybook college career, averaging over twenty-seven points and seventeen rebounds per game during 1956-1959. A two-time All-American, Howell capped his illustrious career at Mississippi State with a 24-1 record, an SEC championship, and a third-place national UPI ranking, while leading the SEC in scoring. But his triumphant college playing days were just the beginning. Howell began his pro career in 1959-1960 with the Detroit Pistons as a first-round draft choice. He stayed in Detroit for five seasons before starring for Baltimore and then heading to Bill Russell’s legendary Boston Celtics for four years. It was with Boston that Howell earned two coveted world championship rings. Averaging 18.9 points per game during his twelve-year pro tenure, Howell played in six all-star games. After a final season in Philadelphia, Howell retired in 1971 and returned to Mississippi State, where he earned his Masters in Physical Education while assisting the basketball team. He then took a job with Converse, where he would remain for over twenty years prior to his retirement in 1994. Currently living with his wife Mary Lou in Starkville, Bailey Howell’s legacy at Mississippi State and the NBA brings pride to his native state of Tennessee.