Abernethy, Wilkerson headline IU hall of fame class #iubb

Tom Abernethy and Bobby Wilkerson headline this year’s Indiana Athletics Hall of Fame class, announced Thursday by the university.

Abernethy (1973-76 men’s basketball) and Wilkerson (men’s basketball 1974-76) are joined in the 34th induction class by Sam Carmichael (women’s golf, 1981-2004; men’s golf 1990-98) Adriane Diamond (women’s track, 1984-87), John Murphy (men’s swimming, 1972-75), Herm Schaefer (men’s basketball, 1939-41).

Schaefer will be inducted on the 75th anniversary of his graduation, while former teammates Abernethy and Wilkerson enter the hall of fame on the 40th anniversary of the 1976 team’s undefeated championship season. With the induction of Abernethy and Wilkerson, the entire starting five of the ’76 team will be in the IU hall of fame.

“It is an honor to welcome these legends into the IU Athletics Hall of Fame,” IU athletic director Fred Glass said in a statement. “This is a truly great class of Hoosiers whom I have long admired. The IU Athletics Hall of Fame represents our proud and storied history of athletic excellence, and we are thrilled we are able to honor the tremendous contributions to IU Athletics history that each of these inductees have made.”

Abernethy was a member of four Big Ten title teams and was a starting forward on the 1976 undefeated national champions. A product of South Bend St. Joseph’s High School, Abernethy was drafted in the third round of the 1976 NBA Draft. He played six years in the NBA with Los Angeles, Golden State and Indiana.

Wilkerson was a defensive standout for the Hoosiers, winning Big Ten championships in 1974, 1975 and 1976. He was later a first-round draft choice of the Seattle SuperSonics, playing seven years in the NBA for Seattle, Denver, Chicago and Cleveland.

Schaefer led the Hoosiers in scoring in the 1940 NCAA Tournament with 31 points. Schaefer was captain of the 1941 team and was named a member of the Herald American All-American team that same year. He was the first player and coach in Detroit Pistons franchise history, as well as the first captain in Los Angeles Lakers history.

As men’s golf coach, Carmichael won Big Ten titles in 1991 and 1998 and was Big Ten Coach of the Year in both of those years. As women’s coach, Carmichael led IU to seven Big Ten championships and earned NCAA Tournament berths nine times.

Diamond had six Big Ten indoor titles in the 440 and 500 meters in 1985, 1986 and 1987. Diamond also won three Big Ten outdoor titles in the 400 in 1985, 1986 and 1987.

Murphy won swimming letters in 1972, 1973, 1974 and 1975 and swam on three NCAA champion relay teams. Murphy won Big Ten titles in 1974 and 1975 in the 100 freestyle and also swam on five Big Ten championship relay teams.


  1. Bobby Wilkerson is in my top 3 all time favorite IU BB stars. At 6’7′ he was 1 of the 1st big men to play guard in college BB. Magic was 6’8″ but 3-4 years after Bobby. He regularly drew the assignment to guard the opponents best offensive player. Many, many games he was the leading rebounder. He also jumped center I believe as a Junior and Senior. He was a big reason the starting 5 for RMK was so dangerous. Congrats!

  2. Those were the days. I was living in California when Indiana opened the 1975/1976 season against UCLA in St Louis. My California friends laughed when I told them Indiana would win. I laughed all the way to the bank after that one.

  3. I’m not sure why they laughed. I doubt that there has ever been a bigger preseason favorite to win the title. They had all but one player back from an undefeated regular season team.

    Like HC, I remember how Bobby would jump for the tipoff every game. Imagine, before there had ever been a guard of that size, that the guy that would be guarding you, the best defender in college basketball, was jumping center instead of their All American center.

    That had to be intimidating.

    When Bobby went to the NBA they made him a forward. The best ball handling forward in the League.

    Abernathy wasn’t amazing athletically but he never seemed to do anything wrong. He hit every open shot. Great at the stripe. Solid defender. Efficient passer. If I’m not mistaken he had a very good rookie season in the League. I don’t know what kind of career he had.

  4. Chet, They laughed because they were Californians and they believed three things to be certain. Death,
    taxes and UCLA.

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