January 23, 2012

Fat Lever to have his No. 12 honored

Posted: January 23, 2012
Lever was the 11th overall pick in the 1982 NBA Draft.

Triple threat: Lever did it all for uptempo Nuggets (by Aaron J. Lopez, Nuggets.com/Aug. 8, 2011)

Lafayette Lever -- better known as Fat -- earned the 2004 Pac-10 Hall of Honor inductee accolades from Arizona State and prior to that he was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 1988. In the middle of that he came to school to finish his Bachelor of Arts in 1996.

This Thurday (Jan. 26) he gets another honor...his jersey will hang in the rafters at Wells Fargo Arena, along with Joe Caldwell, Byron Scott and Lionel Hollins, when ASU hosts Washington. The ceremony will take place at halftime of the 6:30 p.m. MT game aired on FOX Sports Net Arizona.

"Fat Lever had a gift of a basketball player to play unselfishly yet rack up every impressive number in the box score you can think of," says Sun Devil head coach Herb Sendek. "He passed, he rebounded, he defended...and he scored. He did it all. And above all he was a winner."

A starter on the ASU squad which posted one of the biggest defeats of an Associated Press top-ranked team when it defeated No. 1 and unbeaten Oregon State 81-61 on March 7, 1981, in Corvallis on the final day of the regular season, Lever was the 11th overall pick in he 1982 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers and played with the Trail Blazers from 1982-84. He was on the Denver Nuggets squad from 1984-90 and finished his career with the Dallas Mavericks from 1990-94.

Lever finished his ASU degree in 1996 with a B.A. in education. He was inducted into the Arizona State Hall of Fame in 1988 after a tremendous career that saw his Sun Devil teams post records of 22-7 in 1979-80 and 24-4 in 1980-81, his sophomore and junior seasons.

A three-year starter and four-year letterman who earned Associated Press second-team All-American honors in 1981-82, he also earned honorable mention All-America honors by Street Smith's that same season.

He earned All-Pac-10 honors in 1980-81 and 1981-82 and was team captain and MVP in 1981-82 and led ASU at the free throw line, making 117-of-143 (.818). He also led the Sun Devils in assists and steals for three straight seasons. In 1980-81 when ASU went 16-2 he averaged 39.2 minutes in Pac-10 games.

He set the school record (since broken) with 38-point effort against Arizona on Feb. 20, 1982. The 38 points is the most scored by a Sun Devil against the Wildcats in the history of the series. Lever made 16-of-18 free throws in the game. He Outstanding Player of the 1981 ASU Holiday Classic, as ASU beat New Mexico State and Vanderbilt for the title.