Story of the Week
Being Jewish and the avid sports fan that I am can be frustrating but fun. The frustration stems from the fact that there has not been a huge number of star Jewish athletes down through the years.
The fun evolves from the various comedic shots we’ve taken for it. In the movie Airplane, a woman asks the stewardess for light reading; she is given the pamphlet "Famous Jewish Sports Legends." Then there’s the stand-up comedy circuit, "Get 10 Jews on the basketball court, and you have a law seminar."
Well, by comparison, we may not have had lots of star athletes, but we’ve had some great ones. And today’s feature story is about one of those stars, Dolph Schayes.
Dolph Schayes was one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history. He was a gritty workhorse who never averaged more than 25 points for any single season of his career, and only averaged 20 points per game in six of his 16 pro seasons. Yet it was Dolph Schayes who first climbed past George Mikan in 1957, and whose 19,249 career total points (after retirement in 1964) was the standard that Bob Pettit overtook in 1965.
Never a scoring champion, yet nonetheless a true scoring machine of the NBA’s first decade, this former NYU star’s distinguishing features were his adept driving ability, a deadly accurate two-handed set shot, and his rugged durability during the sport’s rough-and-tumble age. Schayes both took and dished out a physical battering due to his aggressive style, and often played with severe injuries that never seemed to slow his remarkable shooting performances.
Schayes, a forward for the Syracuse Nationals and Philadelphia Warriors, was the first player to cross the NBA’s 15,000-point mark. He was one of the most durable and intense competitors in pro basketball history. He retired with a league-record 1,059 games played. He held the iron-man mark of 706 consecutive games played between 1952 and 1961. He was a three-time NBA free-throw leader.
Dolph Schayes appeared in 12 straight NBA All-Star Games, and won one NBA team title. He is enshrined in the Basketball Hall Of Fame.
Last Week’s Trivia
Who is the only player in baseball history to win the Cy Young and Rookie-Of-The-Year awards in the same year? Don Newcombe did it as a Brooklyn Dodger in 1949.
Trivia Question of the Week
Who are the only two boxers to win the Olympic gold medal and become pro champions, both accomplishments coming in the heavyweight division? See next week’s Sports Junkie for the answer.