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Hal Greer


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Athlete Harold Everett ‘‘Hal’’ Greer (June 26, 1936-April 14, 2018) was born in Huntington. The six foot-two inch guard was a basketball star at Huntington’s Frederick Douglass High School during the days of segregation. Recruited by legendary coach Cam Henderson, Greer was the first African-American athlete to play at Marshall College (now University) and one of the first to break the color barrier at a traditionally white college in the South. During his three-year college career, Greer scored 1,377 points, averaged 19.4 points per game, and set the Marshall record for field goals (.545).

Advancing to the National Basketball Association after his 1959 graduation, in 15 seasons with the Syracuse Nationals and Philadelphia 76ers Greer averaged 19.2 points per game and was a ten-time all-star. His 76ers team of 1966–67, considered one of the game’s all-time greatest, ended the Boston Celtics’ streak of eight consecutive championships. When Greer retired in 1973, he held the career record for most games played and ranked in the top ten in points scored, field goals attempted, and field goals made. After his retirement, the 76ers retired his number 15 jersey; he was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame; and he was named to the NBA’s list of the 50 greatest players in league history. In 1978, the city of Huntington renamed 16th Street as Hal Greer Boulevard.

Greer, who worked in business and real estate after leaving professional basketball, died in Arizona at age 81.

Written by Stan Bumgardner

Sources

  1. Moffatt, Charles H. Marshall University: An Institution Comes of Age, 1837-1980. Huntington: Marshall University Alumni Association, 1981.