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|Birthplace:||Los Angeles. CA|
Kevin Willis (born September 6, 1962 in Los Angeles, California) was signed by the Dallas Mavericks as a free agent on April 2, 2007.
Willis played competitively at Jackson Community College for one season before transferring to Michigan State University He had three good seasons for the Spartans but 1982-1983 was a breakout year for him when he averaged 13.3 points and 9.6 rebounds while being named to the All Big Ten Third Team. He was originally to major in broadcasting but switched to fashion and textiles, a move that would come into prominence later in his career.
The Atlanta Hawks selected Willis in the first round of the 1984 NBA draft. As he settled into the league, his scoring average rose each of his first three seasons from 9.3 as a rookie to 16.1 in his third season, 1986-1987.
He played with the Hawks for nine seasons (plus two games of a tenth season) until 1994. An iron man on the court, Willis never played in less than 75 games during his time with Atlanta. In 1991-1992, he was named to his first, and only, NBA All-Star team, was selected All NBA Third team after the season and set a career-high averaging 15.5 rebounds per game. In his final season with the Hawks he set a career-high in points, averaging 19.1 per game.
Willis was traded to the Miami Heat in 1994. Since then he has played with the Golden State Warriors, two separate stints with the Houston Rockets, the Denver Nuggets, the Toronto Raptors and the San Antonio Spurs. It was in 2003 with the Spurs that he finally won an NBA Championship ring. Willis ended his career as one of only 15 players in NBA history with over 16,000 career points and 11,000 career rebounds.
The 7'0 center returned to the Hawks for one more season in 2004-05, and by doing so, positioned himself to be the oldest player in the league. After sitting out he 2005-2006 campaign, Willis' services were again needed as he signed a ten-day contract with the Dallas Mavericks in April of 2007.
While with the Mavs, he appeared in five games averaging 8.4 minutes, 2.4 points and 1.6 rebounds. He was on Dallas' 2007 playoff roster but did not play in the team's disappointing first round playoff exit. His time with the Mavericks did, however, make him the oldest player to ever appear in more than one game in an NBA season.
During Willis' playing career he noticed how difficult it was to find stylish clothing that fit his seven-foot frame. He put his college education to work and began creating his own outfits. Other players took notice and he was soon getting requests from teammates and foes alike for the same type of threads that he was wearing. In 1988 he founded Willis and Walker (along with former college teammate Ralph Walker), an Atlanta-based clothing company for the big and tall man.