the Baller’s Almanac: September 8, 2012

It's the birthday of one of the Missouri Valley Conference greats. Maurice Cheeks was born in Chicago in 1956. He grew up in the Robert Taylor Homes, which – at the time – was the largest public housing facility in the nation. After starring for DuSable High School, Cheeks went south and attended West Texas State University (now W. Tex. A&M). He immediately became homesick and didn't want to live in a small, Texas town. His mother told him if he left, not to come home. He stayed.

There, he was a 3-time All Conference player, and averaged nearly 17 points a game for his career. He would become a 2nd round draft pick in the NBA.

He's since spent most of the past 34 years playing or coaching in the NBA

Jason Collier would have been 35 today. Born in Springfield, Ohio, he became Mr. Basketball in the State. Collier then committed to Indiana, but eventually transferred to Georgia Tech.

Collier was the 15th overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft, but his life ended tragically at age 28 when he died from a heart condition.

Other birthdays include: Jim Krebs 1935 (SMU), Larry Spriggs 1959 (Howard), Latrell Sprewell 1970 (Alabama), Clarence Weatherspoon 1970 (Southern Mississippi), John Thomas 1975 (Minnesota), Will Blalock 1983 (Iowa State), and Derrick Brown 1987 (Xavier)