NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: ASUN Conference
Past Conferences: Trans America Athletic Conference, Dixie Conference, Florida Intercollegiate Conference
City: DeLand, Florida
Arena: Edmunds Center
NCAA Tournaments: 0
National Championships – 0
Conference Titles – 0
Stetson first began playing basketball in 1900-01, although the early years were pretty sporadic, with at least a one-year break between seasons until 1919-20. The Hatters were regulars on the court every year after that up until World War II, when Stetson, along with many schools, didn’t have a team. The Hatters resumed play in 1945-46 and, by the time the 1950s came, Stetson had a pretty good little NAIA team.
Stetson reached the NAIA Tournament for the first time in 1953 and also made appearances in 1957, 1960, 1962 and 1963. The Hatters never won more than a single game in any of the appearances. Stetson moved to Division II and enjoyed some success, reaching the Division II Tournament in 1967, 1970 and 1971, reaching the Elite Eight in 1970.
The Hatters made the move to Division I for the 1971-72 and after going 6-20 in the first season, ran off nine straight winning seasons under longtime coach Glenn Wilkes. Stetson remained an independent until 1985-86 when it joined the Trans America Athletic Conference, which later morphed into the Atlantic Sun Conference. Things have been rough for the Hatters since joining a conference, as they’ve posted just five winning seasons since then. Stetson was its first Division I postseason game in 2021, when the Hatters defeated Bowling Green 53-52 in the CBI. Stetson was invited to play in the tournament despite an 11-14 regular season record.
- Points Scored
- Devine Myles, 1,845
- Kerry Blackshear, 1,826
- E. J. Gordon, 1,691
- Ken Showers, 980
- Randy Anderson, 967
- Santos Hampton, 932
- Angel Rivera, 582
- Frank Ireland, 526
- Brad Weston, 517
How Many Stetson Players Have Been Drafted by NBA Teams?
The Hatters have had eight players drafted by NBA teams. William Pickens was the first Stetson player drafted when he was selected by Detroit in 1966 and Mike Reddick was the last when Milwaukee drafted him in 1984. Of the eight players, only Earnie Killum saw any playing time in the NBA, and his career was just four games.
Why Are Stetson Teams Called the Hatters?
According to the university, the athletic teams are called “Hatters,” reflecting the university’s association with John B. Stetson, maker of the well-known Stetson hats. It all began in 1883 when Henry DeLand founded the DeLand Academy. Three years later, after a disastrous freeze affecting the citrus industry left DeLand in financial distress, Stetson, who had a winter home in DeLand, became interested in the school. At Deland’s request, Stetson was made chairman of the Board of Trustees in 1889 and the university was renamed in his honor. Stetson University fielded the first football team in Florida in 1901. The name “Hatter” was used then and is still in use today.
How Many Stetson Players Have Played in the NBA?
In addition to Earnie Killum, the only other Stetson player to play in the NBA has been Lorenzo Williams, who managed to bounce around the league for seven seasons. He played for five different teams. His best season came with the Dallas Mavs in 1994-95, when he started 81 games, averaged 4.0 points, and 8.4 rebounds per game.