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Kevin Willis
Position(s) Center/Power forward
Jersey #(s) 42, 41, 43, 45
Listed height 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)
Listed weight 245 lb (111 kg)
Born September 6, 1962 (1962-09-06) (age 47)
Los Angeles, California, USA
Career information
Year(s) 1984–2007
NBA Draft 1984 / Round: 1 / Pick: 11
College Michigan State
Professional team(s)
Career stats (NBA and/or ABA)
Points     17,253
Rebounds     11,901
Assists     1,328
Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Career highlights and awards

Kevin Alvin Willis (born September 6, 1962 in Los Angeles, California) is a former American professional basketball player who last played for the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA. He is a 7-foot power forward/center. During the 2004-05 season, Willis was the oldest player in the league at age 42,[1] and he would continue to be until his retirement at the conclusion of the 2006-07 season at the age of 44.[2]

Willis played competitively at Jackson Community College and Michigan State University from 1980–84 and was selected in the 1984 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks. He played with the Hawks for nine seasons (plus two games of a tenth season) until 1994. Willis teamed with Dominique Wilkins, Spud Webb, and Doc Rivers to often guide the Hawks to Playoffs appearances as well as providing a fierce rebounding presence in the post. Near the end of his stint with the Hawks, he and Wilkins were both made team captains. Willis was traded to the Miami Heat in 1994. Since then he has played with the Golden State Warriors, two separate stints with the Houston Rockets, the Denver Nuggets, the Toronto Raptors and the San Antonio Spurs. It was in 2003 with the Spurs that he finally won an NBA Championship ring. Willis is one of 15 players in NBA history with over 16,000 career points and 11,000 career rebounds. He was named to the NBA Eastern Conference All-Star Team in 1992, when he finished the season with a career-high average of 15.5 rebounds a game.[3]

Willis returned to the Hawks for one more season in 2004-05, and by doing so, positioned himself to be the oldest player in the league. On March 30, 2007, The Dallas Morning News reported that Willis needed only to pass a physical to be able to sign with the Western Conference-leading Dallas Mavericks. Willis, who did not play in 2005-06, was reported to take the team's vacant 15th roster spot.[4] The deal became official when he signed a 10-day contract with the Mavericks on April 2, 2007.[2] He appeared in 5 late regular season games and was on the Mavericks playoff roster as the 12th man but did not play in the Mavericks shock early first round exit. By playing five games during 2006-07, Willis became the oldest person to play more than one game in an NBA season (Providence Steamrollers coach Nat Hickey activated himself for one game in 1948, at 45 years and 363 days old.)[5] Hall-of-Famer Robert Parish, who - at age 43 - played 43 games with the Chicago Bulls in 1996-97, previously held many of Willis's longevity and age-based records.

Willis holds career averages of 12.2 ppg, 8.4 rpg[2], and 0.9 apg while averaging 27 minutes per game in 20 NBA seasons.

In 2007, Willis made three appearances on the Spike TV reality show, Pros vs Joes.

Willis ended his playing career after the 2007 season, returning to his clothing business, Willis & Walker.[6] The Atlanta-based company, which specializes in custom wear for big and tall men, was founded in 1988 by Willis and former Michigan State teammate Ralph Walker. [7]

Notes

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