Lennie Rosenbluth

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Lennie Rosenbluth
Rosenbluth circa 1957
Personal information
Born(1933-01-22)January 22, 1933
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
DiedJune 18, 2022(2022-06-18) (aged 89)
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, U.S.
Listed height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High schoolStaunton Military Academy
(Staunton, Virginia)
CollegeNorth Carolina (1954–1957)
NBA draft1957: 1st round, 6th overall pick
Selected by the Philadelphia Warriors
Playing career1957–1959
PositionSmall forward
Career history
19571959Philadelphia Warriors
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at NBA.com
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at Basketball-Reference.com

Leonard Robert Rosenbluth (January 22, 1933 – June 18, 2022) was an American professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA), but he is remembered, first and foremost, for his college basketball player days. He played college basketball for the North Carolina Tar Heels, where he was Helms Foundation Player of the Year (1957), consensus first-team All-American (1957), second-team All-American – AP, UPI, INS (1956), third-team All-American – NEA, Collier's (1956), ACC Player of the Year (1957), and 3× first-team All-ACC (1955–1957).

Early life[edit]

Rosenbluth was born in the Bronx[1] on January 22, 1933.[2][3] His family was Jewish.[4] He was the son of Rose (Kaufman) and Jack Rosenbluth.[5] He attended James Monroe High School in the Bronx, and Staunton Military Academy in Staunton, Virginia, for the 1952–53 school year.[6][7][8] Rosenbluth played only eight games in high school.[8]

College career[edit]

During his first year of varsity basketball at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1955, Rosenbluth was the Tar Heels' leading scorer. He was named third team All-America, averaging 25.5 points per game (PPG) and 11.7 rebounds. He later achieved All-America honors during his sophomore year, but this time they were split between various first and second team selections. He again led the Tar Heels in scoring with a 26.7 average.[9][10]

In his senior season in 1957, Rosenbluth averaged 27.9 points and 8.6 rebounds per game while leading the Tar Heels to a 32–0 record. His regular season performance earned him the Helms Hall of Fame "Collegiate Player of the Year" designation over the University of Kansas's Wilt Chamberlain.[11] The Tar Heels went on to defeat Chamberlain's Jayhawks 54–53 in triple overtime for the NCAA Basketball Championship, North Carolina's first, which brought credibility to the fledgling Atlantic Coast Conference. Rosenbluth's scored 20 points in the championship final, was the tournament's overall top scorer at 28.0 ppg, and was named to the All-Tournament Team. He was also named the ACC Player of the Year[11] and ACC Male Athlete of the Year.[3][12]

Rosenbluth was honored for his athletic achievements while at North Carolina. His No. 10 was retired by the Tar Heels.[1] He was named to the ACC 50th Anniversary men's basketball team in 2002, as one of the 50 greatest players in Atlantic Coast Conference history.[10] He was also selected to the "All-Decade Final Four" team for the 1950s. He was inducted into the Helms College Basketball Hall of Fame and was a member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.[1][12]

He also competed in the Maccabiah Games in Israel, before his pro career.[13]

Other honors[edit]

Rosenbluth also received a number of other accolades and awards during his playing career:

  • Three-time All-ACC selections (1955–57)[9]
  • 1957 ACC Player and Athlete of the Year[9][11]
  • MVP of the '57 ACC Tournament[9]
  • All-Tournament at three Dixie Classics[14]

Until 1992, Rosenbluth was the only collegian to be named NCAA National Player of the Year, ACC Player of the Year, ACC Tournament MVP, and NCAA regional MVP in the same season. His feat has since been matched by Christian Laettner of Duke University and UNC's Antawn Jamison.[14][15]

Rosenbluth held several UNC records at the time of his death, including most points in a single season (897),[16] and highest single-season average (28.0).[11][17]

Professional career[edit]

Rosenbluth was selected in the first round (6th overall selection) of the 1957 NBA draft by the Philadelphia Warriors.[2] He made his NBA debut with the franchise on October 25, 1957,[2] playing six minutes and scoring a two-point field goal against the Syracuse Nationals.[18] He ultimately played in 82 games for the Warriors,[2] and made his final appearance in the NBA on February 11, 1959.[19] Throughout his two seasons in the NBA, Rosenbluth averaged 4.2 PPG and 1.8 rebounds per game.[2][20]

Later life[edit]

After retiring from professional basketball, Rosenbluth worked as a high school teacher and coach in Florida.[8][10] He eventually moved back to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, just over a decade before his death.[16]

Rosenbluth died on June 18, 2022, at the age of 89.[1][10][16][21]

Career statistics[edit]

  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



Regular season[edit]

1957–58 Philadelphia 53 7.0 .343 .631 1.7 .4 4.4
1958–59 Philadelphia 29 7.1 .297 .724 1.9 .2 3.7
Career 82 7.0 .327 .655 1.8 .4 4.2


1958 Philadelphia 4 2.8 .333 .667 .8 .0 2.0

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Lennie Rosenbluth, star of UNC's '57 title team, dies at 89". Associated Press. June 19, 2022. Retrieved June 20, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Lennie Rosenbluth NBA stats". Basketball Reference. Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved November 27, 2023.
  3. ^ a b "Leonard Robert "Lennie" Rosenbluth, SMA '53" (PDF). Staunton Military Academy. Retrieved June 20, 2022.
  4. ^ Rosen, Charley (November 1, 2017). The Chosen Game: A Jewish Basketball History. U of Nebraska Press. ISBN 978-0-8032-5543-2 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Porter, David L. (June 20, 2005). Basketball: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-30952-6 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ Watson, Roger (March 12, 2016). "Staunton had part in UNC's perfect team". The News Leader.
  7. ^ Halberstam, David (December 15, 2015). Everything They Had: Sports Writing from David Halberstam. Hachette Books. ISBN 978-0-316-31223-3 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ a b c Lipman, Steve (March 9, 2007). "Carolina On His Mind". Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
  9. ^ a b c d "Lennie Rosenbluth College Stats". College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved June 20, 2022.
  10. ^ a b c d Scott, Jelani (June 18, 2022). "UNC Basketball Legend Lennie Rosenbluth Dies at 89". SI.com. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 20, 2022.
  11. ^ a b c d Krakauer, Eddie (September 28, 2011). "Greatest Jewish Athletes of All Time". Bleacher Report.
  12. ^ a b "Lennie Rosenbluth 2012". North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 20, 2022.
  13. ^ "At this Year's Maccabiah, NBA Coaches Are on the Sidelines". July 29, 2013.
  14. ^ a b Siegman, Joseph (August 1, 2020). Jewish Sports Legends: The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. University of Nebraska Press. p. 39. ISBN 978-1-4962-0188-1.
  15. ^ "No. 18: Lennie Rosenbluth". Tar Heel Illustrated. May 27, 2022. Retrieved June 20, 2022.
  16. ^ a b c Lucas, Adam (June 18, 2022). "Lucas: Carolina Loses A Legend". North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball. Retrieved June 20, 2022.
  17. ^ Sodergren, Andrew (March 23, 2016). "College basketball: Naples' Bob Young recalls stopping Wilt, helping unbeaten Tar Heels win in 1957". Naples Daily News.
  18. ^ "October 25, 1957 Philadelphia Warriors at Syracuse Nationals Box Score". Basketball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. October 25, 1957. Retrieved June 20, 2022.
  19. ^ "Lennie Rosenbluth 1958–59 Game Log". Basketball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved June 20, 2022.
  20. ^ "LEONARD ROSENBLUTH". www.jewishsports.net. International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 21, 2022.
  21. ^ Brown, C. L. (June 19, 2022). "UNC basketball legend Lennie Rosenbluth dies at 89". The News & Observer.

External links[edit]