Gerald Govan

Nicknames: "Go-Go," "Big Go"
Ht. 6-10
Wt. 220
College - St. Mary's of the Plains (Kan.)
ABA Teams: New Orleans (1967-68 to 1969-70), Memphis (1970-71 to 1971-72), Utah (1972-73 to 1974-75), Virginia (1975-76)

Always fondly remembered by ABA fans for the thick black eyeglasses - sometimes taped in the middle - that he wore on the court; Regarded by his ABA teammates as a solid pro and a smart player; An ABA original, he started out with the New Orleans Buccaneers in 1967-68 and stayed with Coach Babe McCarthy for five seasons, ending his tenure with the New Orleans/Memphis franchise after the 1971-72 season; Became a valuable component of the powerful Utah Stars franchise from 1972-73 through 1974-75; One of the handful of ABA originals to play all nine seasons of the ABA, he ended his ABA career with the Virginia Squires during the 1975-76 season; Not known for scoring, he was a ferocious rebounder, shot-blocker and hustler - always adding to the chemistry of all of his ABA teams; Especially adept at starting the fast break; During the 1974-75 season with the Utah Stars, he became a valuable mentor to rookie Moses Malone after Malone became the very first high-school player to jump directly to the pros; Had an unorthodox release on his jump shot that became a conversation piece around the league; played in the 1969-70 ABA All-Star Game

From Jim O'Brien's 1972-73 Complete Handbook of Pro Basketball:
Tenacious defender, shot blocker, draws toughest defensive assignments . . . Govan doesn't look good, but he does the job - always in there chipping away . . . When ball lay at his feet in game against Nets last year, he seemed unable to stoop and get it. "Maybe," my wife Kathleen suggested, noting the Ace bandages from thigh to calf, "they tape him in the upright position." . . . Excellent rebounder . . . One of the great passing big men in the game . . . Is much better player than observer who sees him for first time would believe . . . Has earned the respect of players and coaches in the league . . . Led ABA in minutes played two years ago and was fifth last year, averaging 41 minutes per game . . . "I'd like to score more," Govan says, "but I'm convinced I'll never be a great scorer. My big thing is to get the ball." . . . Coach McCarthy says: "Gerald is my type of player. He gives it everything he's got when he's on the court and he's always in there hustling. He may not have the most ability in the world, but he makes up for it in so many other ways." During off-season he works in poverty program with Jersey City Housing Authority, conducting clinics for kids
Career ABA Totals 681 22925 2142 5288 .405 5 24 .208 962 1419 .678 4468 2164 2032 - - 5251 10.5 3.2 7.7
ABA Playoff Totals 66 1930 189 497 .380 1 2 .500 76 109 .697 657 190 223 - - 455 10.0 2.9 6.9
ABA All-Star Totals 1 11 1 2 .500 0 0 .000 0 0 - 4 0 0 - - 2 4.0 0.0 2.0


MEMORIES OF STEVEN KINCAID: "I have hundreds of memories of the ABA but one stands out for some unknown reason: Gerald Govan and his outside shot. Govan's rotation on the ball was slightly sideways and made the colorful ball spin oddly. It was the strangest thing to look at. Needless to say he was a terrible shooter, but a great defender and rebounder. Also those thick glasses added to the mystique."

MEMORIES OF KEN BERRYMAN: "I lived over 250 miles from any ABA city, but on October 5, 1971, I saw my first and only ABA game, an exhibition game between the Floridians and the Memphis Pros.  I was attending the University of Oklahoma at the time and the game was being played on the campus of Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, OK, only 30 miles from the OU campus.  I honestly don’t remember who won this game, but I still have the 15-cent program as a souvenir. Memphis had Wendell Ladner, Jimmy Jones and Charlie Williams, which was a pretty good nucleus, but the player I remember the most was Gerald Govan and those Buddy Holly-style glasses he wore.  He couldn't shoot, but he truly dominated the boards."

MEMORIES OF BRUCE BASKIN:  "I have to admit to being surprised that Gerald Govan only got 1 vote for the ABA All-Time Team.  All I know is what I read, but it seems a guy who could rebound, block shots, pass very well for a big man and apparently play good defense should've received more consideration.  I mean, even STEVE CHUBIN got a vote.  Maybe it's just me, but the impression I get is that Govan was a very good player on some really bad teams (although New Orleans was good early on).  Oh well, life goes on."



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