World B. Free
World B. Free (born Lloyd B. Free on December 9, 1953 in Savannah, Georgia) is an United States former professional basketball player who played in the NBA from 1975-1988. Free was known as the "Prince of Midair" as well as "All-World".
Free attended Canarsie High School in Brooklyn, New York before attending Guilford College in North Carolina. As a freshman he led Guilford's basketball team and helped the team win the NAIA National Championship and was named MVP of the NAIA Tournament.
He played for the San Diego Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston Rockets in the National Basketball Association. He got his name from his days in Brooklyn, where a friend nicknamed him "World" because of his 44-inch vertical leaps and 360-degree dunks. He was known for taking high-risk shots and playing flamboyantly.
For both the 1978-79 NBA season and 1979-80 campaigns, George Gervin and Free were number 1 and 2 in the league in scoring. Free averaged 20.3 points per game over 13 seasons in the NBA. His best season was 1980 with the Clippers, averaging 30.2 points per game, second-most in the league, as well as 4.2 assists per game and 3.5 rebounds per game in 68 games. He was an All-Star that season as well in 1980.
Free also played in the United States Basketball League (USBL) for the Miami Tropics. He was USBL Man of The Year in 1986 and the Miami Tropics won the championship. His USBL stint took place the summer before Free went to the Houston Rockets for the 1987-88 season, which was his last NBA season. For Free, the highlight of that season was November 12, 1987, when he scored 38 points against the Sacramento Kings at Arco Arena and brought the Rockets back to win the game.
In 1980, he had his first name legally changed to World.
Currently Free is community relations director for the Philadelphia 76ers or otherwise known as "Ambassador of Basketball," where, among other things, he greets fans at 76ers home games in his flamboyant/colorful wardrobe. World also heads the Sixers "Summer Hoops Tour" which is in its 12th season.
On November 30, 2005, World B. Free was honored as a Cleveland Cavaliers Legend at halftime of the Cavaliers game against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Dick Vitale uses his name in college basketball season previews to give the award for best name.
August 10, 2006, the Philadelphia 76ers announced World B. Free will assume additional duties as director of player development.