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 title.
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
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."
March 6, 2000
"Our group knew what we wanted," says May. "We were going to do
whatever it took to win it all."