Walter Jones " Walt " Bellamy ( born July 24, 1939 in New Bern, North Carolina, † November 2, 2013 ) was an American professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association. The 2.11 meter tall Bellamy played the position of the center and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.
Bellamy played three years for the Indiana Hoosiers and was nominated at this time for the U.S. selection, with the he managed to win at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome.
In NBA Draft 1961 Bellamy was selected by the Chicago Packers in position 1. With 31.6 points and 19.0 rebounds per game, he immediately became a superstar, won in the 1961/62 season the NBA Rookie of the Year Award for best newcomer, playing the first of four times in the All- Star Game. However, since both the Packers and the Chicago Zephyrs successor team alongside Bellamy ( 25 points and 15 rebounds per game) did not have good players, Chicago missed the playoffs twice. As sold him the Zephyrs due to financial problems at the Baltimore Bullets, Bellamy came despite a rather mediocre season for the first time in the knockout stage and failed in the semifinals 2-4 to the Los Angeles Lakers. After the Bullets missed the playoffs the following year, Bellamy was traded to the New York Knicks, reaching twice the knockout stage, where the Knicks were eliminated but both times early. In the autumn of his career, Bellamy played with the Atlanta Hawks, where he reached four times with Pete Maravich the playoffs, but without ever get far. At the age of 36 years Bellamy ended his basketball career at the New Orleans Jazz.
Bellamy is considered a highly gifted player who had the bad luck that he was the sole star of financially weaker clubs and just was not good enough always to be able to decide playoff series alone. Nevertheless, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993. He died in November 2013 at the age of 74 years.