Luther Rackley

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Luther Rackley
Personal information
Born(1946-06-11)June 11, 1946
Bainbridge, Georgia
DiedNovember 19, 2017(2017-11-19) (aged 71)
Harlem, New York
Listed height6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)
Listed weight220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High schoolTroy (Troy, New York)
CollegeXavier (1966–1969)
NBA draft1969 / Round: 3 / Pick: 37th overall
Selected by the Cincinnati Royals
Playing career1969–1973
Number22, 45, 43, 23, 12, 42
Career history
1969–1970Cincinnati Royals
19701971Cleveland Cavaliers
19711972New York Knicks
1972–1973Memphis Tams
1973Philadelphia 76ers
Stats at

Luther Rackley, Jr. (June 11, 1946 — November 19, 2017) was an American professional basketball player who played six seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and American Basketball Association (ABA).

Early life[edit]

Rackley was born in Bainbridge, Georgia and grew up in Troy, New York, where he attended Troy High School.[1] In his senior season at Troy, Rackley led the team in scoring and rebounding as the Flying Horses went 22-0. The team earned a ranking of No. 1 in the nation from a University of Kentucky scout, and Rackley was named All-American. During his junior and senior seasons, Troy won 38 of 40 games, two Class A league championships and a pair of Section II Class A titles. The entire team was inducted into the Capital District Hall of Fame in 2011.[2]

College career[edit]

Rackley played college basketball at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. As a sophomore starting center, he averaged 15.0 points and 12.6 rebounds per game. He had a season-high 25 points against both the University of Utah and St. Bonaventure University and its All-American center Bob Lanier. Against the University of Detroit, he posted 24 points and 19 rebounds, and he snared 25 rebounds against the University of Dayton.[3]

In his junior season he was limited to seven games due to ineligibility due to his grades, and averaged 9.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. As a senior, Rackley came on strong with team-leading 17.5 points, 14.0 rebounds, and a .552 field goal percentage. He had a career-high 29 points in two games.[3]

Rackley earned a bachelor's degree in American Government and Political Science.[4]

He was inducted into the Xavier University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1982.

Professional career[edit]

Rackley was selected in the third round (37th overall) of the 1969 NBA draft by the Cincinnati Royals and by the American Basketball Association's Minnesota Pipers. He signed with the NBA's Royals.[5] In his rookie season of 1969–70, he served primarily as the backup to starting center Connie Dierking, playing 66 games and averaging 19 minutes per game, 7.6 points and 5.7 rebounds.[5]

On May 11, 1970 he was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA expansion draft. In 1970–71 for the Cavs, he averaged just over 19 minutes per game, again averaging 7.6 points along with 5.3 rebounds per game.[5]

In 1971–72, his third season, he played nine games for the Cavaliers, then on November 15, 1971 he was traded to the New York Knicks. He remained a backup center, and for the season averaged 3.6 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.

For the 1972–73 season, he played one game for the Knicks. He later signed with the American Basketball Association Memphis Tams. He played in 57 games, averaging 7.3 points and 5.0 rebounds.

On September 28, 1973 he was claimed on waivers from the Knicks by the Philadelphia 76ers. He played nine games before being waived on November 28, 1973, ending his five-year professional career.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Rackley earned his real-estate license and worked as a real-estate broker in New York City. He served as Vice President of Walt Frazier Enterprises and organized teams consisting of NBA players to play all over the world. He served as an NBA scout and owned a casting office for commercials and films.[6] He spent several years as a teacher in the White Plains, New York school system.[7]

He also acted in two movies, The Last Dinosaur and The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh and was a member of the Screen Actors Guild. Rackley also appeared in several television commercials.[2]

Rackley lived in Manhattan, New York following his retirement.[6]


Luther Rackley passed on Sunday, November 19, 2017 in Harlem, New York.[8]


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  8. ^ Home, Cloud Funeral. "Obituary for Luther Rackley, Jr. | Cloud Funeral Home, Cairo, GA". Obituary for Luther Rackley, Jr. Retrieved 2018-01-01.