George Pendleton, GSU's First NBA Draft Pick, Passes Away
George Pendleton, Georgia State’s first-ever NBA draft pick, passed away on May 29 and will be laid to rest Saturday, June 8 at Lincoln Cemetery here in Atlanta.
Pendleton returned to Georgia State for Alumni Day just this past February as the school honored its alums during a basketball game in the Sports Arena.
During Pendleton’s senior season, Georgia State’s first in the newly-formed Sun Belt Conference, Pendleton set a then school-record with 42 points on 18-of-27 shooting against Jacksonville, breaking the school-record of 41 points. To this day, his 42 points scored is tied for the second most in program history and one of just five times a Panther has scored at least 40 points in a game.
Before being drafted by the Indiana Pacers in the fourth round, “Popgun” Pendleton scored a then school-record 562 points, a mark that still stands in the top ten today. He led the Panthers that season with a 20.1 scoring average, second in the Sun Belt only to Cedric Maxwell, who became the Sun Belt’s first-ever draft pick before Pendleton. Maxwell, who played for UNC Charlotte, advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 1977 here in Atlanta at the Omni.
Pendleton played for Coach Jack Waters at Georgia State. He was a member of the school's first winning team when the 1975-76 Panthers went 12-11, including wins over Georgia Tech, Georgia Southern, South Alabama, VCU and Mercer.
A service will be held in Pendleton’s honor at Union Institutional Baptist Church at 3243 Stone Road, Atlanta at 1 p.m. on Saturday.