Perhaps the greatest almost-member of the Maryland Terrapins in program history, Moses Malone, has passed away at the age of 60, ESPN and other media outlets are reporting.
Malone, who was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2001, was nearly one of the biggest recruiting coups of all-time for Maryland in 1974.
Head coach Lefty Driesell was preparing to sign the highly touted big man, who could very well have been the piece that pushed Maryland over the top after an NIT championship in 1972 and an Elite 8 appearance in 1973.
But the Utah Stars of the ABA made an offer Malone couldn't refuse and he ultimately went from high school to the pros without ever playing a game for the Terrapins.
From a detailed and enjoyable compilation of Driesell recruiting stories from Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun in 2012 in which Driesell talks about trying to convince Malone to play one year at Maryland, which he says could have boosted Malone's pro contract value the following year:
“Moses was very religious and he said that if he signed with Maryland, the Lord was going to be upset with him,” Driesell said with a laugh. “I told him that the Lord was not going to be upset if he signed for $2 million instead of $1 million. One more day and we would have had him.”
Malone would eventually go on to win an NBA title and Finals MVP with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1983. He won regular-season MVP awards in 1979, 1982, and 1983. For his career, he averaged 20.6 points and 12.2 rebounds per game.