Earl Cureton, who helped get Detroit Mercy to the NCAA tournament in the 1978-79 season and played three seasons with the Pistons, will have his jersey retired by the Titans on Jan. 23.
Cureton, whose nickname was “The Twirl,” will be honored at halftime of the 7 p.m. game against IUPUI.
The 6-foot-9 center/forward is a Detroit native and attended Finney High School (since closed). He played two seasons at Robert Morris before transferring to Detroit Mercy, where he played from 1978 to 1980.
“This is a long time coming to honor Earl with this great moment of appreciation for everything he has done, as a Titan, as a professional and, more importantly, as a great member of the community,” athletic director Robert C. Vowels Jr. said in a news release. “His career speaks for itself, helping get the Titans back to the NCAA Tournament and then as a member of two NBA championship teams, but his work in the community and his commitment to earn his college degree speaks to his high morals.”
The 76ers took Cureton in the third round of the 1979 NBA draft, but he did not play his first pro game until 1980. He spent 12 years in the NBA, winning a championship with them in 1983 and with the Houston Rockets in 1994.
He was with the Pistons from 1983 to 1986.
Cureton averaged 11.7 points and a team-high 9.0 rebounds with 1.3 assists, 1.1 blocks and 1.0 steals per game in 1978-79. The next season, he led the team in scoring (20.0) and rebounding (9.1).
Cureton has been a Titans game analyst for more than 10 years, and also is the Pistons’ community ambassador.
Cureton also was an assistant coach in the WNBA (Charlotte Sting, Detroit Shock and Phoenix Mercury).