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Zelmo Beaty

Nickname: "The Big Z", "The Franchise"
Ht. 6-9
Wt. 235
College - Prairie View A&M
ABA Teams: Utah (1970-71 to 1973-74)

Established NBA Star (17 ppg, 2-Time NBA All-Star) when he jumped from the NBA Atlanta Hawks to the ABA Utah Stars; Had to sit out one season (1969-70) before playing for Stars; Led ABA in Field Goal Percentage in 1970-71 Season; 2-Time Member of ABA All-Pro Team; 3 Time ABA All-Star; Member of 1970-71 Utah Stars Championship Team; Known as "The Franchise" to Utah Stars fans; Coached Virginia Squires during latter half of 1975-76 season

From Jim O'Brien's Complete Handbook of Pro Basketball:
One of slickest big men in pro game . . . Nicknamed "The Franchise" for obvious reasons . . . Brought class to ABA and championship to Salt Lake City in first year in league after sitting out season when he jumped from NBA's Atlanta Hawks, for whom he had starred for seven years . . . Jumped to ABA for "the security my contract provides" . . . Switched to ABA under misconception that San Francisco Warriors center Nate Thurmond was making a similar move . . . Said when he signed with Stars that he got "more for one year than for three at Atlanta" . . . Four-year contract in excess of $400,000 . . . Led Stars in scoring and rebounding in both 1970-71 regular season and playoffs and established ABA record for percentage shooting with 55.6% mark . . . Named president of ABA Players' Association and was their spokesman when he said the ABA players were in favor of ABA-NBA merger . . . "I think the caliber of play in the ABA is fast catching up with play in the NBA," he said. "We still have a lot of young players in our league. But once they get the experience..." . . . Scored 63 points against Pittsburgh Condors on February 21, 1972, a league record later broken by Larry Miller, but that's not his normal game . . . Established team record for rebounding with 28 takedowns against Virginia on December 2, 1971 . . . Moves about the court like a snobbish butler, but works like laborer under boards . . . Peter Carry of Sports Illustrated described him thusly: "Beaty has even perfected a sort of on-court hauteur; he strides about with his lengthy carriage militarily erect, his head cocked back and his eyes peering down in apparent disdain at the swarm of underlings milling about him." . . . Pushes, shoves and holds with best in middle, and outsmarts likes of Paultz and Gilmore consistently . . . Often underrated through the years, but rated by his competitors as one of the all-time greats . . . Lots of know-how here

GP Min FGM FGA FG% 3PM 3PA 3P% FTM FTA FT% TReb AST PF Stl Blk Pnts RPG APG PPG
Career ABA Totals 319 11328 2328 4343 .536 2 13 .154 1442 1786 .807 3716 526 1112 -- -- 6100 11.6 1.6 19.1
ABA Playoff Totals 52 2000 369 691 .534 0 0 .000 253 303 .835 674 102 192 -- -- 991 13.0 2.0 19.1
ABA All-Star Totals 3 65 15 28 .536 0 0 .000 3 4 .750 19 4 9 1 2 33 6.3 1.3 11.0

Actually, Zelmo Beaty, Jr. would have preferred to be a carpenter. But being a legendary pro basketball player had to suffice. Big Z carried the Utah Stars to the 1971 ABA Championship and became known in Salt Lake City as "The Franchise." Here is Dan Pattison's written tribute to Beaty, which also appeared in the February 1998 issue of Utah Jazz HomeCourt Magazine.

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