Roger Iverson, one of the greatest players in Pacific Lutheran men's basketball history, is one of 60 players to be named to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) 75th Anniversary All-Star Team on the eve of the organization's national tournament.
Iverson, a 5-foot 9-inch guard who belied the theory that college basketball is only for the tall, played for then Pacific Lutheran College from 1955-59. He helped lead PLC to four consecutive NAIA national tournament appearances, highlighted by a second-place finish in 1959 and a third-place showing in 1957. He twice was a member of the NAIA All-Tournament team. In the 1959 national tournament, Iverson's tireless play earned him the event's "Mr. Hustle" award.
In 1971, he was selected to the All-Time NAIA All-Tournament Team, the only player from the Northwest, and the only player under six feet tall, to be so honored. Iverson, inducted along with teammate Chuck Curtis into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1972, earned NAIA All-America honors in 1958 (third team) and 1959 (second team) and also was an AP Little All-America honorable mention pick as a senior.
Iverson scored 1,820 points (still second best behind Curtis on the all-time school scoring list) and averaged 15.6 points per game during his outstanding four-year career at Pacific Lutheran College. Iverson's best season came as a senior when he scored 540 points, fourth on the single-season scoring list, and averaged 18.6 points per game. He was a four-time All-EvCo selection.
The NAIA's 75th Anniversary All-Star Team team is comprised of 60 athletes and 15 coaches. According to a NAIA press release, "A special committee of current and former coaches, tournament staff, dedicated media and long-time supporters was created to help with the selection process. After fans voted on a web site ballot, this committee followed several criteria to select the 75th Anniversary All-Star Team. Criteria included and in no particular order: performance at a national tournament, game statistics, involvement in a national championship-winning team; status on All-Tournament Team and/or Tournament MVP."
A number of the 60 players named to the All-Star Team went on to careers in the National Basketball Association, putting Iverson in excellent company. Among them are the following:
Dick Barnett, whose Tennessee A&I team beat Iverson's PLC team in the 1959 title game; Zelmo Beatty, Prairie View A&M; M.L. Carr and Lloyd B. Free, Guilford (N.C.); Travis Grant and Elmore Smith, Kentucky State; Earl "The Pearl" Monroe, Winston-Salem State (N.C.); Terry Porter, Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Willis Reed, Grambling; Dennis Rodman, Southeastern Oklahoma State; and Jack Sikma, Illinois Wesleyan.
Among the 15 coaches named to the All-Star Team is John Wooden, who coached at Indiana State from 1946-48 before going on to a Hall of Fame coaching career at UCLA.
Members of the All-Star Team have been invited to participate in the festivities in mid-March at Municipal Auditorium in downtown Kansas City. Attendees will be recognized with a special reception preceding the national championship final on March 20, and will be introduced at halftime of that contest.
To view the entire 75th Anniversary All-Star Team, click here.
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