STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI/MSState.edu) — Mississippi State University’s east-west street near the Humphrey Coliseum basketball venue has been officially renamed in honor of MSU and NBA basketball great Bailey Howell.
The honor was presented to the MSU Executive Council by MSU President Mark E. Keenum and unanimously approved.
“I can think of nothing more fitting than to name the street which runs in front of our basketball coliseum in honor of one of the very best ever to play the game at Mississippi State, indeed one of the very best ever to play the game of college basketball, Bailey Howell,” said Keenum. “I believe this honor is something the MSU family will deem most appropriate and long overdue.”
Keenum praised Howell as “one who has maintained a lifetime loyalty to his alma mater and to the MSU athletic program.”
A member of the MSU Hall of Fame and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, Howell was a two-time All-American at State in 1958 and 1959, earning consensus honors both as a junior and senior. He was selected first-team All-Southeastern Conference each of his three varsity seasons at MSU in 1957-59 – ranking among the nation’s Top 10 statistical leaders in both scoring and rebounding during all three years.
The Tennessee native is MSU’s second all-time scoring leader with 2,030 career points who owns the school-record 27.1 scoring average. He holds all MSU rebounding records in career rebounds (1,277) and highest career rebounding average (17.0 rpg)
Howell’s jersey number (No. 52) was retired to the Humphrey Coliseum rafters in 2009 as the first Bulldog player to ever be so honored.
After completing his MSU playing days, Howell was the second pick overall in the 1959 National Basketball Association draft by the Detroit Pistons. He played 12 seasons in the NBA, was six-time All-Star and member of two NBA World Championship teams with the Boston Celtics.
Howell was elected into the National Basketball Hall of Fame in 1997.
An official naming ceremony will be announced at a later date.