Oscar B. "Ossie" Schectman (born May 30, 1919) is a retired American professional basketball player. He is credited with having scored the very first basket in the National Basketball Association (NBA), at that time the Basketball Association of America. He was born in Kew Gardens, Queens, New York, United States.
Basketball career 
He later played both guard and forward at Long Island University, then a powerhouse under coach Clair Bee. He was a member of the undefeated 1939 NIT and National Championship team. In 1941, he was named Converse first team All-America.
After graduating LIU, Schectman joined Eddie Gottlieb's Philadelphia Sphas in the American Basketball League. The Sphas had started as a barnstorming team (their nickname stood for the South Philadelphia Hebrew Association), but they joined the ABL in 1933 and thereafter, dominated the league. The Sphas won the league championship in his second season (1942–43), and the following year, he finished second in the league in scoring with 199 points (10.5 average).
Schectman remained with the Sphas until 1946 (they won another championship in 1944–45), and then joined a new league called the Basketball Association of America (predecessor of the NBA).
On November 1, 1946, in the opening game of the fledgling Basketball Association of America (BAA), Ossie Schectman scored the opening basket for the New York Knickerbockers against the Toronto Huskies. Schectman and his teammates Sonny Hertzberg, Stan Stutz, Hank Rosenstein, Ralph Kaplowitz, Jake Weber, and Leo "Ace" Gottlieb went on to win the opening game 68–66 and finish the season with a 33–27 record. In 1949, the BAA became the National Basketball Association (NBA), and Schectman's shot is considered the first basket in the NBA.
In 1946–47 (his only year in the NBA), Schectman played in 54 games for the Knicks and was third in the league with 2.0 assists per game.
After that season, Schectman decided to abandon the NBA. He returned to the ABL, and in the 1947–48 season, he was named All-ABL first team while leading the Paterson Crescents to the championship series.
Halls of Fame 
Schectman is prominently featured in the documentary film The First Basket, about Jewish basketball history. He was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Long Island University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001. He is also a member of the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame.
See also 
- "Do you know who scored THE FIRST BASKET in the NBA?". Thefirstbasket.com. November 1, 1946. Retrieved January 18, 2011.
- "The Story". The First Basket. November 1, 1946. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
- "NBA pioneer is no old fogey". ESPN. Retrieved October 19, 2010.