April 5, 1976
Scott May was the best player on Bob Knight's brightest team at Indiana. The 1976 consensus collegiate player of the year, co-captain of the last Division 1 team to go undefeated and a fierce competitor, May once started an NCAA tournament game with a broken arm. "Scotty," Knight once said, "can do it all."
May had his share of rocky times as an academically ineligible freshman at Indiana. As a sophomore he began to feel more confident in his studies, and the future championship nucleus of May, Kent Benson, Quinn Buckner and Bob Wilkerson started to gel. "Our group knew what we wanted," says May, who was a 6'7" forward. "We were going to do whatever it took to win it all." As a senior May averaged 23.5 points per game as the Hoosiers rolled to a 32-0 record and Knight's first national tide.
Even in the rough first year, quitting Indiana was never an option for May. Each summer while Scott was growing up in Sandusky, Ohio, his father, Charles, required Scott to bring him his lunch at the steel mill where Charles worked. It soon became clear to Scott that he should aspire to something more. Following college—he graduated in the standard four years with a degree in education—he found immediate success in the NBA, averaging 14.6 points per game as a rookie for the Chicago Bulls in 1976-77. But his career trailed off from there, and after six-plus seasons he could no longer find a job in the NBA, whereupon he began a six-season career with Torino, Rome and Livorno in the Italian league.
In the late 1970s Steve Ferguson, May's attorney who had been recommended by Knight, suggested that May buy apartment units around the Indiana campus. May invested in a couple of projects each off-season and now owns more than a thousand apartments in Bloomington, striving to manage his holdings with the attention to detail he learned from playing for Knight. Divorced, May lives in Bloomington, where he helps raise his two sons, Scott Jr., 16, and Sean, 15—both of whom start on the North High School basketball team. He still keeps a close eye on Hoosiers basketball, often dropping by practice to watch players grow up in Knight's system. "You can say what you want about Coach," says May, "but all of his players seem to do pretty well."