Inducted November 19, 1983
Danny Bolden came to SMS as a much-heralded freshman basketball prospect who was the backbone of a pair of state powerhouse Springfield Central High School teams in 1962 and 1963. He joined the Bears with a group of incoming first-year players for Coach Eddie Matthews in the fall of 1963. The group would justify Matthews’ faith in them by winning MIAA titles in 1966 and 1967 and capturing NCAA regional honors with an NCAA Division II runnerup finish in 1967 following a title game loss to Earl Monroe and Winston-Salem. Bolden was a four-year starter and letterman for SMS in that era, and he was named to the all-MIAA first team each of his last three seasons. Bolden earned a spot on the NCAA all-regional tournament team and then was named to the national all-tourney team in his senior season of 1967. He was picked for the MIAA Tournament all-tourney as a freshman and selected for the Converse Basketball All-American third team in 1966. Bolden led SMS in scoring as a senior with a 19.6 average, was the club’s top rebounder as both a freshman and as a senior, and recorded what was the best home scoring performance ever by an SMS player when he tallied 34 points against Missouri-Rolla in McDonald Arena in January of 1965. Bolden still ranks as the Bears’ third-leading all-time scorer with his career total of 1718 points. On other all-time lists, he still holds down the seventh spot in scoring average (17.4), second in rebounds (1133), third in rebound average (11.4), ninth in games played (99), fourth in field goals (652), first in free throws (414), first in free throw attempts (597) and fourth in field goal attempts (1461). Bolden was the Bears’ captain as both a junior and senior and saw SMS finish with a 69-30 mark for his four seasons of varsity competition.