Hal Greer

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Hal Greer
Hal Greer 1969.jpeg
Greer in 1965
Personal information
Born (1936-06-26)June 26, 1936
Huntington, West Virginia
Died April 14, 2018(2018-04-14) (aged 81)
Arizona
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Listed weight 175 lb (79 kg)
Career information
High school Douglass (Huntington, West Virginia)
College Marshall (1955–1958)
NBA draft 1958 / Round: 2 / Pick: 13th overall
Selected by the Syracuse Nationals
Playing career 1958–1973
Position Shooting guard / Point guard
Number 15
Career history
19581973 Syracuse Nationals / Philadelphia 76ers
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points 21,586 (19.2 ppg)
Rebounds 5,665 (5.0 rpg)
Assists 4,540 (4.0 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

Harold Everett Greer (June 26, 1936 – April 14, 2018) was an American professional basketball player. He played for the Syracuse Nationals / Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1958 through 1973. A guard, Greer was a 10-time NBA All-Star and was named to the All-NBA Second Team seven times. He was named to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team and he had his uniform number retired by the 76ers.

Early years[edit]

Born in Huntington, West Virginia, Greer attended Douglass Junior and Senior High School in Huntington.[1] Douglass was an all-black school. He played as a guard for Douglass' men's basketball team.[2] He enrolled at Marshall University and played college basketball for the Marshall Thundering Herd's basketball team, becoming the first African American to play for a public college in West Virginia.[3]

With the Thundering Herd, Greer scored 1,377 points with a .545 field goal percentage, setting a Marshall record. In 1956, Marshall won the Mid-American Conference championship,[4] and made their first NCAA men's basketball tournament appearance.[5] Greer was named All-Mid-American Conference in 1957 and 1958. He was named an All-American in 1958 as well.[4] Greer finished his Marshall career averaging 19.4 points per game and 10.8 rebounds per game.[6] In 1958, his senior year, Greer averaged 23.6 points per game.[7] Greer also played for the school's baseball team in his sophomore year as a first baseman.[4][5]

NBA career[edit]

The Syracuse Nationals selected Greer with the 13th selection in the 1958 NBA draft.[4][8] Greer played for Syracuse for five seasons, raising his scoring average to 22.8 points a game in 1961. He was selected for the NBA All-Star team that year.

Hal Greer scored 21,586 points during his 15-season career, all with the 76ers franchise.

In 1963, the Syracuse Nationals moved to Philadelphia to become the Philadelphia 76ers. There, Greer teamed with Wilt Chamberlain on the 1966–67 team that won the NBA championship. In the 76ers' 15 playoff games that season, Greer averaged a team-best 27.7 points. Greer had an unusual but highly effective free throw technique, shooting a jump shot from the charity stripe.[5] He is usually considered the third-best guard of the 1960s, behind Oscar Robertson and fellow West Virginia native Jerry West.

Greer played in 10 NBA All-Star Games and was the MVP of the 1968 game when he went 8-for-8 from the field and scored 21 points, a record-breaking 19 in one quarter. He also was chosen to the All-NBA Second Team seven times, and scored 21,586 points during his NBA career. When he retired after the 1972-73 season, he ranked as the all-time leader in games played and was in the top ten in both points scored and field goals made.[2] As of his death, Greer is the franchise record holder for points scored, field goals, field goal attempts, games played, and minutes played.[9]

Post-playing career[edit]

In 1980, Greer coached the Philadelphia Kings of the Continental Basketball League.[10] He also coached the basketball team for Germantown Academy in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania.[7]

Legacy[edit]

Greer's hometown has honored his success by holding "Hal Greer Day" in 1966, and by renaming 16th Street, which carries West Virginia Route 10 as the main artery between the campus/downtown area and Interstate 64, as "Hal Greer Boulevard" in 1978.[7][11] The 76ers retired Greer's uniform number, No. 15, in 1976; he was the first player the 76ers honored in this way.[9] Marshall's men's basketball team retired Greer's No. 16.[5] Marshall University inducted Greer into its Athletics Hall of Fame for his career in basketball and baseball in 1985.[12]

In 1982, Greer was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame along with Slater Martin, Frank Ramsey, Willis Reed, coach Clarence Gaines, and contributor Alva Duer.[13] Greer is recognized as one of the first African-American athletes enshrined in a major sports hall of fame from West Virginia.[citation needed] He was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996.[9] The 76ers installed a statue of Greer at their training complex in 2017.[14]

Accolades[edit]

  • Averaged 22 ppg to lead 76ers to NBA Championship (1967)
  • Played in 10 consecutive NBA All-Star Games (1961–70)
  • NBA All-Star Game MVP (1968)
  • Set record for most points scored in a quarter (19) during an All-Star Game (1968)
  • Seven-time All-NBA Second Team (1963–69)
  • Scored 21,586 career points (26th all-time),[15] including 50 in one game vs. Boston Celtics
  • Scored 1,876 points in 92 playoff games and 120 points in 10 All-Star Games
  • His jerseys were retired by Marshall University (#16) and the Philadelphia 76ers (#15)

Personal life[edit]

Greer and his wife, Mayme, had a son and two daughters.[16] Greer died on April 14, 2018, following a brief illness. The 76ers announced his death on April 16.[8] They honored Greer prior to Game 2 of the 2018 NBA Playoffs vs the Miami Heat.[9] For the remainder of the playoffs, the Sixers wore a black armband on the sleeve of their jersey with a small patch with the number 15.[17]

NBA career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Denotes season in which Greer won an NBA championship
* Led the league

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP MPG FG% FT% RPG APG PPG
1958–59 Syracuse 68 23.9 .454 .778 2.9 1.5 11.1
1959–60 Syracuse 70 28.3 .476 .783 4.3 2.7 13.2
1960–61 Syracuse 79 35.0 .451 .774 5.8 3.8 19.6
1961–62 Syracuse 71 38.1 .447 .819 7.4 4.4 22.8
1962–63 Syracuse 80 32.9 .464 .834 5.7 3.4 19.5
1963–64 Philadelphia 80 39.5 .444 .829 6.1 4.7 23.3
1964–65 Philadelphia 70 37.1 .433 .811 5.1 4.5 20.2
1965–66 Philadelphia 80 41.6 .445 .804 5.9 4.8 22.7
1966–67 Philadelphia 80 38.6 .459 .788 5.3 3.8 22.1
1967–68 Philadelphia 82 39.8 .478 .769 5.4 4.5 24.1
1968–69 Philadelphia 82 40.4 .459 .796 5.3 5.0 23.1
1969–70 Philadelphia 80 37.8 .455 .815 4.7 5.1 22.0
1970–71 Philadelphia 81 37.8 .431 .805 4.5 4.6 18.6
1971–72 Philadelphia 81 29.8 .449 .774 3.3 3.9 11.8
1972–73 Philadelphia 38 22.3 .392 .821 2.8 2.9 5.6
Career 1122 35.5 .452 .801 5.0 4.0 19.2
All-Star 10 20.7 .461 .703 4.5 2.8 12.0

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP MPG FG% FT% RPG APG PPG
1959 Syracuse 9 30.8 .419 .813 5.2 2.2 11.6
1960 Syracuse 3 28.0 .512* .750 4.7 3.3 15.7
1961 Syracuse 8 29.0 .387 .825 4.1 2.4 14.4
1962 Syracuse 1 5.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1963 Syracuse 5 42.8 .506 .829 5.4 4.2 23.4
1964 Philadelphia 5 42.2 .389 .846 5.6 6.0 21.4
1965 Philadelphia 11 45.9 .455 .793 7.4 5.0 24.6
1966 Philadelphia 5 45.2 .352 .783 7.2 4.2 16.4
1967 Philadelphia 15 45.9 .429 .797 5.9 5.3 27.7
1968 Philadelphia 13 42.5 .432 .856 6.1 4.2 25.8
1969 Philadelphia 5 40.8 .321 .778 6.0 4.6 16.0
1970 Philadelphia 5 35.6 .446 .846 3.4 5.4 15.4
1971 Philadelphia 7 37.9 .438 .750 3.6 4.7 17.9
Career 92 39.6 .425 .812 5.5 4.3 20.4

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dr. Alan B. Gould (July 1985). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Douglass Junior and Senior High School" (PDF). State of West Virginia, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Historic Preservation. Retrieved July 23, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "June 26, 1936: NBA Hall of Famer Hal Greer Born in Huntington | West Virginia Public Broadcasting". Wvpublic.org. June 26, 2017. Retrieved April 17, 2018. 
  3. ^ "Greer Still Fond of Marshall, Field House :: Marshall Thundering Herd Athletic Site :: Men's Basketball". Herdzone.Com. February 9, 2012. Retrieved April 17, 2018. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Hal Greer broke color barrier in W.Va. sports | News". herald-dispatch.com. February 27, 2008. Retrieved April 16, 2018. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Marshall basketball legend Hal Greer dies at 81 | Marshall University". wvgazettemail.com. Retrieved April 17, 2018. 
  6. ^ "Basketball legend returns home | Marshall Sports". herald-dispatch.com. February 9, 2012. Retrieved April 16, 2018. 
  7. ^ a b c "Hal Greer, the first black player in Marshall University... - UPI Archives". Upi.com. February 20, 1982. Retrieved April 16, 2018. 
  8. ^ a b "Hall of Famer, Philadelphia 76ers legend Hal Greer dies at 81". USA TODAY. Retrieved April 16, 2018. 
  9. ^ a b c d Press, Associated. "Hall of Famer Hal Greer, the Philadelphia 76ers' all-time leading scorer, dies at 81". Latimes.com. Retrieved April 17, 2018. 
  10. ^ "» The Short-Lived, Cocaine Funded Philadelphia Kings Philly Sports History". Phillysportshistory.com. Retrieved April 17, 2018. 
  11. ^ "BREAKING: Huntington native, NBA legend Greer dies at age 81 | News". herald-dispatch.com. February 10, 2012. Retrieved April 17, 2018. 
  12. ^ "Marshall Athletics Hall of Fame". Herdzone.com. November 14, 1970. Retrieved April 16, 2018. 
  13. ^ Rogers, Thomas (February 21, 1982). "Reed Named to Hall of Fame - The New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved April 17, 2018. 
  14. ^ "76ers unveil statue honoring HOF guard Hal Greer". Philly. February 11, 2017. Retrieved April 16, 2018. 
  15. ^ Associated Press (December 9, 2009). "Rondo scores his 11 in fourth as Celtics pull away from Bucks". Sports.espn.go.com. Retrieved April 16, 2018. 
  16. ^ "Hal Greer dead: Syracuse Nats basketball legend, 76ers NBA champion dies at 81". syracuse.com. Retrieved April 16, 2018. 
  17. ^ "Sixers center Joel Embiid's status for remainder of series up in the air". The Trentonian. April 16, 2018. Retrieved April 17, 2018. 

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