Harry Gallatin

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Harry Gallatin
No. 11, 10
Forward / Center
Personal information
Born (1927-04-26) April 26, 1927 (age 86)
Roxana, Illinois
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 6 in (198 cm)
Listed weight 210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school Roxana (Roxana, Illinois)
College Truman State (1946–1948)
NBA draft 1948 / Round: -- / Pick: --
Selected by the New York Knicks
Pro playing career 1948–1958
Career history
As player:
19481957 New York Knicks
1957–1958 Detroit Pistons
As coach:
19621965 St. Louis Hawks
1965–1966 New York Knicks
Career highlights and awards

As coach:

Career BAA / NBA statistics
Points 8,843 (13.0 ppg)
Rebounds 6,684 (11.9 rpg)
Assists 1,208 (1.8 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player

Harry J. " The Horse" Gallatin (born April 26, 1927) is a retired American professional basketball player and coach. Gallatin played nine seasons for the New York Knicks in the NBA from 1948 to 1957, as well as one season with the Detroit Pistons in 1958. In 1954 Gallatin led the NBA in rebounding, and was named to the All-NBA First Team. Gallatin was named to the All-NBA Second Team in 1955. For his career, Gallatin played in seven NBA All-Star Games. A member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, he is also a member of the SIU Edwardsville Athletics Hall of Fame, the Truman State University Athletics Hall of Fame, the Missouri Basketball Hall of Fame, the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame, the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) Hall of Fame, and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Hall of Fame.[1]

High school/college[edit]

Growing up in Roxana, Illinois, Gallatin had taken interest in all sports and has been quoted as saying, "Competition has always been my cup of tea."[2] His drive for competition was amplified during his first year in high school as he attended Wood River High School from 1940–41. Since Roxana and some other outlying communities like Bethalto had no high school of their own at the time, all the athletes in the area attended Wood River, thus increasing the level of competition among them for varsity positions. The following year, however, Roxana got its own high school. He graduated from Roxana High School in 1944, and was granted a basketball scholarship by Northeast Missouri State Teachers' College (now known as Truman State University). But after graduating from Roxana High School, he enlisted in the United States Navy and served until the end of World War II.

His very first day at Northeast Missouri, he met a girl by the name of Bev. They were married about a year after college. He said he would not have been able to accomplish everything he has done in his life without her.[2] Initially, he said he never thought he would play college basketball because, although he did well in school, he did not know whether he would qualify academically for college. In any event, as a Northeast Missouri State Teachers' College basketball player he would go on to average 12.9 points per game and lead his team to a 59-4 record and two appearances in the NAIA tournament.[1] Despite his fear of ever being able to get into college, he earned his bachelor's degree from Northeast Missouri in only two years and would later receive his master's degree in physical education from the University of Iowa in 1954.

He performed well enough in college basketball that the New York Knicks selected him in the 1948 NBA draft. "It was a dream come true. I really didn't know what to expect; it was my first plane ride, from St. Louis to New York. Here I am a boy from Wood River, a country boy, and going to the Big Apple," Gallatin explained. "All I knew was that I loved to play basketball, and the Knicks had taken me with their number one choice. So I knew that they thought I had the kind of abilities they were looking for."[2]

NBA player[edit]

In his third year in the NBA, Gallatin was selected for the first NBA All-Star Game in 1951, and from 1951 through 1957 was chosen for seven consecutive NBA All-Star games. It was in the NBA where he earned the nickname “The Horse”. He played his entire career as an extremely undersized center at 6'6" and 215 lbs., but had more than size and passion; he had tremendous physical strength and epitomized hard work both in college and in the NBA. He played nine seasons for the New York Knicks, from 1948 to 1957. His best statistical year was in 1954, when he led the NBA in rebounding, averaging 15.3 rebounds per game. That same year, he was also named to the All-NBA first team. His most dominating single-game performance was on the last regular season game of the 1952–53 season. That night, against the Fort Wayne Pistons, Gallatin pulled down 33 rebonds, a Knicks record which still stands today.[2] To say rebounding was one of the things he did well was an understatement. In the six seasons he played when rebounds were recorded, he was among the leaders in the league in rebounds per game.[3] For his career, he averaged an impressive 11.9 rebounds per game. After nine strong years with the Knicks, he was traded to the Detroit Pistons in 1958. He played only one season for the Pistons before retiring as one of the most dominating post players of his era, and a very durable and dedicated athlete.[4]

Baseball Player[edit]

In addition to basketball, he also played baseball. He played two seasons of varsity baseball at Northeast Missouri.[1] During the off-seasons between his first three seasons in the NBA, he played for the Class B Decatur, Illinois Cubs/Commodores of the Illinois-Iowa-Indiana League, which was an affiliate of the Chicago Cubs in 1949 and the Cincinnati Reds in 1950. He appeared in 46 games in those two seasons, winning 7, losing 9 and batting .227 in 75 at-bats. After the 1950 baseball season, however, he made basketball his only professional sport.[2][5]

Post-Playing Life[edit]

After his retirement from playing in 1958, Gallatin became the head coach of the Southern Illinois University (now SIU Carbondale) Salukis. In four seasons there, he led his teams to a 69-35 record and post-season tournament appearances every year. The 1961-62 team made it to the NCAA Small College (now Division II) Tournament semifinals before barely losing to eventual champion Mount St. Mary's College 58-57, then took third place by beating Nebraska Wesleyan University 98-81.[6]

He returned to the NBA in 1962 as coach of the St. Louis Hawks. In his first season, he led the Hawks to the division finals and was named NBA Coach of the Year. The 1963-64 season saw the Hawks again advance to the division finals, but halfway through 1964-65 he returned to New York to coach the Knicks while Richie Guerin replaced him as coach of the Hawks. The Knicks were developing into a championship team, but the pieces were not yet all in place and Gallatin left the Knicks and the NBA midway through the 1965-66 season.[7]

He became the first athletic director and basketball coach at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 1967. He remained at SIUE until his retirement in 1992, where he also taught in the physical education department and was the SIUE Cougars's men's golf coach for 24 years, leading that team to NCAA Division II championships 19 times and finishing in the top 10 six times[8]

Since his retirement from coaching, Gallatin has remained active and enthusiastic, still living in Edwardsville, Illinois.[2] He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991,[9] and has also been named to six other Halls of Fame. In 2011, the New York Knicks honored him in their second "Legends Night Awards" along with other former Knicks stars Dick Barnett, Earl Monroe, Mark Jackson, John Starks and Allan Houston.[10]

On June 24, 2013, Gallatin took part as the SIUE athletics department broke ground for a new golf training facility. Pending approval of the SIU Board of Trustees, it is to be named the Harry Gallatin Golf Training Facility.[11]

Coaching record[edit]

NBA[12][edit]

Legend
Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win-loss %
Post season PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win-loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
St.Louis Hawks 1962–63 80 48 32 .600 2nd in West 11 6 5 .545 Lost in Division Finals
St.Louis Hawks 1963–64 80 46 34 .575 2nd in West 12 6 6 .500 Lost in Division Finals
St.Louis Hawks 1964–65 33 17 16 .515 - - - - - -
New York Knicks 1964–65 42 19 23 .452 - - - - - -
New York Knicks 1965–66 21 6 15 .286
Career Total 256 136 120 .531 23 12 11 .511

NCAA[6][13][edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason


Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Interstate Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) (1958–1962)
1958-59 SIU 17-10 9-3 2nd 0-2 (NCAA)
1959-60 SIU 20-9 9-3 1st tie 2-1 (NAIA)
1960-61 SIU 21-6 12-0 1st 1-1 (NCAA)
1961-62 SIU 21-10 9-3 1st 4-1 (NCAA 3rd Place)
SIU: 79-35 39-9
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (Independent) (1967–1970)
1967-68 SIUE 5-5
1968-69 SIUE 7-10
1969-70 SIUE 7-16
SIUE: 19-31
Total: 58-40

      National champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]