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Ernie D was an overachieving guard prodcut of Providence College and coach Dave Gavitt. Just 6' 1 and 180 pounds, DiGregorio was a passer-first and scrappy defender few expected to last long in the NBA. Mentally strong, Ernie D surprised with the Buffalo Braves in 1973-74. Teaming with star Bob MacAdoo, DiGregorio led the NBA in assists, free throw percentage and steals to be named NBA Rookie Of The Year. Some have since suggested that his stats, and MacAdoo's, were somewhat inflated to promote the two stars. Nonetheless, Ernie D was a true NBA star who had debuted in exciting fashion for Coach Jack Ramsey's Braves. An ACL tear in his third season doomed his NBA career, and the Buffalo franchise as well. He later played with the Boston Celtics as a reserve, his NBA star potential denied by that injury.