Born: October 28, 1938
David L. Budd was born October 28, 1938 in Woodbury. As he entered his teen years, it became clear that Dave’s sport would be basketball. He was tall and muscular, with good jumping ability. A quick temper hampered his development, but Joe Colone—his coach at Woodbury Junior-Senior High School—gave him the benefit of his own experience as a pro in the early days of the NBA. Colone was a burly 6’5” with a deadly hook shot, so he could go one-on-one with Dave, who reached a height of 6’7” while playing for the Bisons. Dave tookColone's hook shot with him to college and later the NBA.
Dave was an all-conference player as a junior and senior, and All-South Jersey in his final varsity season. Although well known in Gloucester County, Dave never made it onto the radar of major college basketball programs. He was offered a scholarship at Western Maryland College with the understanding that he would play three sports. Just before the fall semester started, Coach Colone reached out to his basketball contacts and found Dave a better deal at Wake Forest, where Bones McKinney was putting together a solid team.
Dave gained a reputation as a fierce, physical defender and rebounder. His temper flared on several occasions, most notably in an on-court brawl with UNC in 1959. He was second-team All-ACC twice and was good for a double-double most nights. He was an accurate shooter from the field, as well as from the free throw line, which prevented opponents from fouling late in close games. For his three-year varsity career, Dave averaged 13.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. In 1959-60, he teamed with sophomore Billy Packer to lead the Demon Deacons to the ACC Tournament championship game.
The New York Knicks selected Dave with their second-round pick in 1960, making him 10th overall. Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Satch Sanders and Lenny Wilkens were all taken above Dave; the only player of note taken after him was Al Attles. As a rookie, Dave backed up forward Willie Naulls, averaging 6.5 points and 4.9 rebounds playing 17 minutes a game. Dave saw much more playing time in his third year in the league, and responded by scoring in double figures and finishing 6th in the NBA in field goal percentage.
In a 1962 road game against the Philadelphia Warriors, Dave scored a rare double-double. Unfortunately, this was the night that Wilt Chamberlain torched New York for 100 points. Dave saw a lot of playing time because starting center Phil Jordan was hurt and backup Darrall Imhoff fouled out. Dave earned a small measure of revenge in a later game in Philadelphia when he tipped an outside set shot by Chamberlain. Chamberlain chided him for making him look bad in his hometown. Dave smiled and reminded Wilt that there were plenty of fans from his hometown in the stands that night.
After five seasons in the pros, Dave decided it was time to get a real job. He accepted a position with Gloucester County Packing and moved back to Woodbury, where he eventually retired. The Budd family made a generous donation to Wake Forest, which was used to equip the school’s third-floor basketball practice facility at the new Miller Center in 2001. Today, the men’s and women’s teams practice in the Dave Budd Gymnasium.