Phil Sellers, the greatest men’s basketball player in Rutgers history, passed away at the age of 69 on Wednesday. He was dealing with several medical issues over the past few months and had a recent stroke that he ultimately did not recover from. In July, it was initially reported that Sellers had two surgeries involving his intestines and lungs. He had a tracheotomy to help him breath and was being fed intravenously.
Sellers is the all-time leading scorer and rebounder at Rutgers after starring for the program from 1973-1976. He scored 2,399 career points and 1,115 career rebounds for the Scarlet Knights. The consensus All-American is one of just three RU players to have their jerseys hanging from the rafters of Jersey Mike’s Arena. His No. 12 has hung since the 80’s.
He led the 1975-1976 team to an undefeated regular season and the school’s only Final Four.
It’s rare that the best player for a program is the all-time leading scorer and rebounder while at the same time being the best player on the best team in school history. Phil Sellers was all of those things for Rutgers.
He played for the Detroit Pistons in the NBA but had a relatively short pro career.
“Phil Sellers is Rutgers royalty,” said Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell. “He is the greatest player on the greatest team in our program’s history. His jersey is one of three that hang up in the rafters at Jersey Mike’s Arena. He was the ultimate role model for our current Scarlet Knights. Rutgers men’s basketball sends our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. We love you Phil ‘The Thrill’!”
Sellers was a true Rutgers legend. His teammates speak of him in the highest regard. Phil the Thrill gave so much to the program, the Rutgers community and the fans.
Sincere condolences to his family.
Rest in Peace, Phil Sellers.
To read what his Final Four teammates said of Sellers following his passing, click here.
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