Jay Handlan

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Jay Handlan
Personal information
Born (1928-02-02)February 2, 1928
Wheeling, West Virginia
Died January 10, 2013(2013-01-10) (aged 84)
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Career information
High school Triadelphia (Wheeling, West Virginia)
College Washington and Lee (1948–1952)
NBA draft 1952 / Round: – / Pick: –
Selected by the Indianapolis Olympians
Position Forward
Career history
1953–1954 Akron Goodyears (AAU)
Career highlights and awards

John Bernard "Jay" Handlan (February 2, 1928 – January 10, 2013) was an American college basketball star at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia from 1948 to 1952.[1] He was born in Wheeling, West Virginia.[1][2] A 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) forward, Handlan is best known for being a prolific scorer and for setting the still–standing National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) record for field goal attempts in a game with 71.[1][2]

College career[edit]

During his four-year career with the W&L Generals, Handlan set two NCAA basketball records, including most free throws made in a single game without a miss (18) and field goal attempts (71).[2] The former record has since been broken, but the 71 field goal attempts is a record that will probably last forever, given today's focus on team-concept basketball and a slower-style pace of play. The attempts record occurred on February 17, 1951 in a 97–82 win over Furman University.[3][4] Handlan scored 66 points that game, which is in the NCAA Division I top five record for most points in a game by a single player.[4] He shot 30-for-71 in field goal attempts but missed his first seven shots.[3] He scored 49 of his 66 points in the first half alone.[3] When asked about his 71 shot attempts and school-record 66 points performance, Handlan offered his rationale for why he was allowed to do so:

"We weren't super formidable. I was the only scholarship player on the team. That night was sort of a planned situation. It was 'Let's see what I can get.' To be honest, I was tired at the half."[1]

Handlan owns the highest single-season scoring average (26.7 points per game) in Washington and Lee history as well as the top career scoring average (21.3 points per game).[2] In his last collegiate game, played on March 1, 1952 against West Virginia University, Handlan surpassed the 2,000-point threshold to become just the third player to score 2,000+ points in major college basketball history.[5] He entered that contest with 1,987 points and scored 15, finishing his Washington and Lee career with 2,002 points—currently the second highest in school history behind Dom Flora's 2,310.[2]

Later life[edit]

Shortly after he concluded his college career, Handlan was drafted by the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s Indianapolis Olympians in the 1952 Draft.[6] However, he never played a game in the NBA. He instead played in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) for a brief period, including a selection in 1953–54 as an all-star while playing for the Akron Goodyears.[7]

He eventually became the president of an engineering firm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and owned a house in New Jersey.[1]

Handlan died on January 10, 2013.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Kirkpatrick, Curry (21 January 1985). "Shoot First, Last And Always". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "John Bernard (Jay) Handlan '52". generalssports.com. Washington and Lee University. 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c Luchter, Paul S. (16 March 2010). "Basketball Single-Game Scoring Records – Men's College Basketball". luckyshow.com. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "2009–10 NCAA Men's Basketball Records" (PDF). 2009–10 NCAA Men's Basketball Media Guide. National Collegiate Athletic Association. 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  5. ^ "Jay Handlan Guns For 2,000 Mark In Game Tonight", The Free Lance-Star, p. 5, 1 March 1952, retrieved 20 June 2010 
  6. ^ "Indianapolis Olympians Draft Register". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference, LLC. 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  7. ^ Bradley, Robert (2010). "Amateur Athletic Union Basketball". apbr.org. Association for Professional Basketball Research. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "John "Jay" Handlan - Obituary". Legacy.com. January 16, 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2013.