Of the many famous people from Greenwood, Greater Indianapolis and Central Indiana, Dick and Tom Van Arsdale are some of the easiest to recognize, especially if they’re standing side-by-side. The reason is that they are identical twins, and both of them played professional basketball in the NBA.
It’s fitting, therefore, that Fun City Finder should enter their legacy here on a single page together, rather than individually. The talented twins were born in Indianapolis, but raised in suburban Greenwood, Indiana. Born on February 22, 1943, both distinguished themselves on the basketball court at Emmerich Manual High School in Indy, and as All-Americans in 1965 at Indiana University.
They each made their way to fame on their own merits, however, so here are some facts about their unique careers:
Richard Albert (Dick) Van Arsdale
The 6’5″ guard played for the New York Knicks from 1965-1968, and then from 1968-1977 for the Phoenix Suns. In 1966, he was chosen to be part of the NBA All-Rookie Team, along with his twin brother Tom. Dick Van Arsdale was considered one of the NBA’s top throw-shooters. Like his brother, Dick was a three-time All-Star NBA player. He earned the nickname “the original Sun,” and he became the Phoenix Suns’ manager and head coach for a brief period in 1987. Today, Dick Van Arsdale serves the Suns as a Senior Vice President on its board.
Thomas Arthur (Tom) Van Arsdale
Also a 6’5″ guard and small forward, Tom Van Arsdale ended up playing pro-basketball for no fewer than six teams over twelve seasons, including the Detroit Pistons, Kansas City-Omaha Kings, Cincinnati Royals, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, and the Phoenix Suns. Tom is a three-time NBA All-Star and was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 1966. After playing nearly 1,000 pro games, Tom Van Arsdale still holds the NBA record for the highest scores and most games played without making a single appearance in the playoffs.
Not at all fond of being pitted against one another on the basketball courts, Tom and Dick Van Arsdale have had each other’s backs all their long lives, even as they forged their singular careers to stardom.
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