When it came to shooting, few players in ABA history did it better than Louie Dampier. The feared marksman of the 1960s and '70s enters his second season on the Nuggets coaching staff.
Dampier, 54, was one of the most prolific shooters in American Basketball Association annals and holds several league career and single-season records. He appeared in the most career regular-season games (728) in the ABA, all for the Kentucky Colonels, and was the league's all-time leading scorer (13,726 points from 1967-76) and assist king (4,084). In addition, he holds marks for most career minutes (27,770), most career field goals (5,290), most three-point field goals in a career (794) as well as a single season (199 in '68-69), and most playoff game appearances (94).
A native of Southport, Ind., Dampier was named to the All-ABA Second Team four times (1967-68, '68-69, '69-70, and '73-74) and earned All-Rookie Team honors in '68. He helped lead the Colonels to the playoffs nine-straight times, reaching the finals in '71, '73 and '75, and appeared in seven ABA All-Star games. Kentucky, which was coached by Hubie Brown, captured the ABA Championship in '75, defeating Indiana, 4-1. Joining Dampier on that squad were Hall of Famer Dan Issel and future NBA star Artis Gilmore. Dampier, along with former Denver Nuggets star Byron Beck, were the only players in ABA history to play all nine seasons with the same team. When the leagues merged following the '75-76 season, Dampier was taken by San Antonio in the first round of the dispersal draft. He played for the Spurs for three seasons, appearing in 232 regular season games and 15 playoff contests for head coach Doug Moe.
An All-American at the University of Kentucky from 1964-67, Dampier was a first-round pick by the Colonels in the inaugural ABA Draft in '68; he was also selected 38th overall by the Cincinnati Royals in the NBA Draft that same year. One of the most storied players in UK history, Dampier remains ranked in the top 10 in several of the school's career records. A member of the '65-66 team nicknamed "Rupp's Runts," which played in the NCAA Finals, he shared team MVP honors in '66 and '67 with Pat Riley. Dampier's jersey No. 10, is retired.
Prior to moving to Denver, Dampier owned Dampier Distributing, an audio-visual company, from 1983 to '98 in LaGrange, Ky. He and his wife, Judy, have four children: Danielle, Nick, Rob, and Jay.