Larry Donnell Nance Sr. (born February 12, 1959) is a retired American professional basketball player. A 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) forward from Clemson University, Nance played 13 seasons (1981–1994) in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the Phoenix Suns and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Nance scored 15,687 career points and grabbed 7,352 career rebounds, but he is perhaps best known as the first winner of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 1984, earning him the nickname “The High-Ayatolla of Slamola”. Nance was a model of consistency throughout his NBA career. He averaged over 16 points and 8 rebounds per game for all eleven seasons as a starter. His best scoring average year was in the 1986–1987 NBA season, where he averaged 22.5 points per game. Always among the highest in field goal percentage, Nance was an excellent mid-range shooter as well as a talented inside player.
Nance’s son, Larry Nance, Jr., was formerly a player for the University of Wyoming Cowboys men’s basketball team. He was selected in the first round as the 27th pick of the 2015 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers.
Career highlights and awards
3× NBA All-Star (1985, 1989, 1993)
NBA All-Defensive First Team (1989)
2× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1992–1993)
NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion (1984)
No. 22 retired by the Cleveland Cavaliers