Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday spotlights Former U Mass star and former ABA and NBA player Al Skinner.
Skinner played at the University of Massachusetts. While on the freshman team in the 1970–71 season, the varsity team was led by Julius Erving, in what would be Erving’s final season in college. (Skinner and Erving would later play together professionally.) Skinner was also a teammate of Rick Pitino.
Skinner scored 1,235 points in his three years on the varsity squad. He led the team in rebounding each of those three years, and in scoring in his junior and senior seasons. As a senior, he averaged a double-double with 18.8 points and 11.0 rebounds. That scoring average also led the Yankee Conference. He recorded the first triple-double in UMass history, with 28 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists against St. Peter’s on Dec. 28, 1973 in Springfield MA.
Skinner was a three-time Yankee Conference First Team selection. He led UMass to two straight YC titles in the 1972–73 and 1973–74 seasons. As a senior in 1973–74, he was the team captain and an All-America honorable mention selection.
His jersey number 30 was retired in a ceremony at UMass on Feb. 18, 2004
Skinner was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the 1974 NBA Draft (16th pick of the 9th round, or 160th overall pick). He never ended up playing with Boston. Instead, he joined the New York Nets in the ABA, where he reunited with Julius Erving. The pair helped the Nets win the ABA title in 1975–76.
Smallthoughts :Old School Tuesday …spotlights Al Skinner.