Class of: 2008
Team: Boston Celtics
Kansas City Kings
New Jersey Nets
School: University of Houston
Otis Lee Birdsong is a former professional basketball player who was born in Winter Haven, FL. Birdsong played his college ball at the University of Houston where he was named a 1977 consensus All-American after leading the Houston Cougars to the finals of the National Invitational Tournament, it was the perfect ending to a historic career. During his All-American season in 1976-77, Birdsong was named Southwest Conference Player (SWC) of the Year, after leading the Cougars to a 29-8 record and in the NIT’S championship game. Birdsong scored 38 points and made 18 free throws. He ranked 4th nationally and set an SWC scoring record with 30.3 points per game. These accomplishments resulted in Birdsong being named SWC player of the Decade.
In addition to receiving All-American honors, Birdsong was named to the All-Southwest Conference team in 1976 and 1977. Additionally, he was named District VI Player of the Year (encompassing Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas) by the United States Basketball Writers Association. He was a member of the USBWA’s All-District VI Team in 1975, 1976 and 1977, and he was team captain both his junior and senior years. During his 4 seasons with the Cougars, the team complied 79-38 record. He left the University of Houston as the school’s second leading all-time scorer with 2,832 total college career points, which remains 12th best all-time NCAA record in Division-I men’s basketball.
After completing his eligibility at the University of Houston, Birdsong was the 2nd player chosen in the 1977 NBA draft when he was taken by the Kansas City Kings. He scored over 14,000 career points in 12 seasons with the Kings, the New Jersey Nets and the Boston Celtics. He was selected to be a member of the NBA All-Star team 4 times, averaging over 18 points per game. Birdsong returned to Houston following his career and served as a member of the Cougar’s radio broadcast team for several seasons.