Born: April 18, 1936; Murphysboro, Illinois
Played for: Detroit Pistons (1960-1964), Baltimore Bullets (1964-1968), St. Louis Hawks (1968-1970)
An All-State performer at Edwardsville High School, Don Ohl went on to star at the University of Illinois, where he was an All-Big Ten player in 1957 and 1958. At Illinois, Ohl averaged 20 points a game his senior season, was Illinois’ Most Valuable Player and a second-team Converse All-American. In 1958, he was also selected an NCAA All-American.
Ohl was drafted by the Philadelphia Warriors in the 1958 NBA draft, but as an AAU All-American in 1960, played with the Peoria Cats before entering the NBA. He debuted in the NBA with the Detroit Pistons in the 1960-61 season.
He went on to play 10 seasons in the National Basketball Association and scored more than 11,500 points during his career. He was named an NBA All-Star five consecutive years.
The 6-foot-3 shooting guard improved steadily each year, with his points-per-game average topping out at 20.6 when he was with the Baltimore Bullets (which became the Washington Wizards) in 1965- 66. He was the team MVP for Baltimore in 1965 and again in 1966.
Ohl was a great long-range shooter long before the 3-point shot was adopted by the NBA. He engaged in a great shooting duel with the Los Angeles Lakers’ Hall of Fame guard Jerry West in the 1965 playoffs.
Ohl finished his NBA career with the St. Louis Hawks in 1967-68, averaging 13.3 points a game, then traveled to Atlanta with the Hawks for his final two NBA seasons. He played in seven playoff games, averaging 16.9 points, including a high of 26.7 with Baltimore during the 1965-66 campaign. More than 50 years later, Don still holds the Wizards’ franchise record for the highest playoff average.