Birdsong lettered for the Cougars under Hall of Fame Coach Guy V. Lewis from 1973-77, scoring more than 2,800 points. He continues to rank second in school history with his scoring total.
Birdsong was the first freshman in school history to start for the Cougars after the NCAA ruled freshmen eligible to play and finished the 1973-74 season as the team’s third-leading scorer.
He ranked 15th nationally with 24.6 points per game as a sophomore in 1974-75, shooting a remarkable 58.3 percent from the field. He also became the first sophomore in school history to reach the 1,000-point milestone.
As a junior, he led the Southwest Conference and ranked eighth nationally with 26.1 points per game. In 1976-77, Birdsong was honored as the SWC Player of the Year after averaging 30.3 points per game to stand fourth nationally. He was the only player in SWC history to average more than 30 points per game and was recognized as the SWC Player of the Decade for the 1970s.
Following his Houston days, Birdsong continued to excel at the professional level. He was the second player taken in the 1977 NBA Draft by the Kansas City Kings and finished his 12-year NBA career with Kansas City, New Jersey and Boston with more than 12,500 points.
Birdsong was an All-NBA Second-Team honoree following his second season and was a four-time All-Star. He averaged below double figures in scoring in only two of his 12 seasons in the league. He played a total of 696 NBA games (317 started), averaging 18.0 ppg in 31.1 mpg.
After retiring from the game, Birdsong served as president and general manager of the Little Rock Rim Rockers, which won the 2005 ABA championship. Today, he serves as chairman of the board of directors of the National Basketball Retired Players Association.
The Southwest Conference Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. Birdsong will join the other inductees in a ceremony and luncheon at the Omni Hotel in downtown Fort Worth on Monday, Oct. 20.Follow @exnbadotcom
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