Basketball Hall Of Famer Hal Greer

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Cliff Notes - Played for the 76ers, won a championship in 1967

  • 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)
  • First all-time in 76ers' history in games played
  • Scored 21,586 career points (26th all-time),[3] including 50 in one game vs. Boston Celtics; also leads all 76ers players in career points.
  • Scored 1,876 points in 92 playoff games and 120 points in 10 All-Star Games
  • NBA 50th Anniversary Team (1996)
  • His jerseys were retired by Marshall University (#16) and the Philadelphia 76ers (#15)
  • A 1-and-a-half-mile stretch of road in Huntington, West Virginia, was renamed "Hal Greer Boulevard"

Basketball Hall of Famer Hal Greer has a legacy of blazing new trails for African Americans in his home state of West Virginia. Greer was born in Huntington, West Virginia, where his excellence as a basketball player at Douglass Junior and Senior High School came to the attention of his hometown university, Marshall College. Marshall, as a public school, had been mandated to integrate by the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision in 1954, and so Greer was offered the opportunity to become the first African American player on Marshall's basketball team.

It wasn't an easy four years - Greer described it as a "hellish" experience, being one of few black players traveling for games throughout the South and the Midwest. But after he averaged 24 points per game for Marshall in his senior season, Greer had proven to the NBA that he could play basketball as well as anyone in the country.

He moved on to the NBA, where he played 15 seasons for the Philadelphia 76ers franchise, was selected to the All-Star Team ten straight seasons from 1961 to 1970, and starred for the Sixers' 1967 NBA championship team. When his teammate Dolph Schayes recalled the secrets behind Greer's success, he had this to say: "He came to practice the same way, to every team function the same way. Every bus and plane and train, he was on time. Hal Greer punched the clock. Hal Greer brought the lunch pail."

It's impossible to understate how much the decision of Brown v. Board of Education changed the paths of many of those like Hal Greer who were in school during the 1950s. There are many stories like Greer's in The HistoryMakers' digital archive - HistoryMaker Avon Kirkland recalls finding out about the decision particularly vividly: "I was rushing out to go to school, picked up the paper, and read a headline, 'U.S. Supreme Court Declares School Segregation Unconstitutional.' We hadn't heard much about it. The Florida Times-Union newspaper, which at one time I delivered on two paper routes, did have--we didn't know it was coming. So I asked my mother what it meant, and it really stopped her. And she finally said, 'Son, it means you and your sister got a chance.'"