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tBBC Making the List: Jerry Lucas

Discussion in 'News' started by jcollingsworth, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. Making the List: Jerry Lucas
    via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
    Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here

    There’s a lot to say about this week’s pick for Making the List….

    So let’s get started.

    Whenever a conversation arises pertaining to great names that played basketball for The Ohio State University we all seemingly have a differ set of names – some are favorites – most are simply from our own eras. Regardless of the era in which we hail from – I feel confident that we’d all agree that one of the greatest Buckeyes in round-ball was Jerry Lucas.

    Born in 1940 in Middletown, Ohio, a small community nested between Cincinnati and Dayton, it had, and perhaps rightfully so, ordained itself as “The Basketball Capital of Ohio”. They were winners of five Ohio State high school championships from 1945-55. Lucas and his team(s) would add two more through 1958.

    When Lucas began to play at Middletown come his sophomore year during the 1955-56 season, only 15, he was a rapid rising star who nailed 60% of his shots. The stories are he shot less than his teammates. The 1955-1956 team went undefeated and would be named co-national high school champions – sharing the title with the Indianapolis Crispus Attucks, which was led by star Oscar Robertson. The 1956-57 team went undefeated as well, winning the Ohio State title, and being crowned the lone National Champions. Lucas moved into his senior year as the top-rated high school player in the country. His teams had never lost a game, going back to junior high. In the 32-minute games of the era, Lucas averaged over a point per minute, despite not playing the entire game. Middletown would finally lose to Columbus North in the 1958 state playoffs. The Middletown High School during Lucas’s era finished with a 76-1 record. The 76-straight high school wins are still an Ohio High School record. Lucas was named Ohio State High School player of the year all three years. He was also named USBWA National High School player of the year twice. There would be only two other high school players to receive this very award similarly: Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and LeBron James.

    Jerry would receive 160 scholarship offers to play basketball, or track, or both. As a senior at Middletown he would also win the Ohio State discus title. Fred Taylor, not yet the varsity coach at Ohio State, recruited Lucas. After the ink dried on the paper – Lucas agreeing to a scholastic scholarship at OSU, Taylor was promoted from freshman coach to varsity coach. When the announcement that Lucas was heading to Columbus was made he was on a tour of Ohio-Indiana High School All-Stars games. Ohio All-Star teammates from that tour would follow him to Ohio State, among them John Havlicek, Bob Knight and Mel Nowell.

    Lucas was named to some 1959-60 pre-season All-American teams before ever playing a game at Ohio State. Lucas, Nowell, Havlicek, Siegfried, and Roberts would be the starters for the Buckeyes on the 1959-60 team. The Buckeyes averaged 90 points per game with their fast-breaking style. They would be National Champions beating California 75-55. They would go on to be in the next two Championships as well (three in a row); losing to Cincinnati in 1961 and again in 1962.

    Jerry Lucas was an All-American First Team all three years at Ohio State. His #11 was later the second number ever retired by the Buckeyes in any sport. The team went 78-6 during his years.

    Jerry can also add Gold Medalist to his long list of accomplishments as he was a member of Team USA in 1960 – playing in Rome.

    He would be named the 1961 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year – being the first ever to win the award in basketball.

    Jerry currently stands tied at third with William Buford on the OSU scoring records with 1,990. He leads all Buckeyes in rebounds with 1,411. And in 1961 against *ichigan State he scored a whopping 48 points – which is 1 point shy of the record currently held by a Buckeye.

    Jerry Lucas’s NBA career is quite the resume as well:

    NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
    NBA Champion (1973 – NY Knicks)
    7× NBA All-Star (1964–1969, 1971)
    NBA All-Star Game MVP (1965)
    3× All-NBA First Team (1965–1966, 1968)
    2× All-NBA Second Team (1964, 1967)
    NBA Rookie of the Year (1964)
    NBA All-Rookie First Team (1964)

    As if the accomplishments I have already detailed aren’t enough – following his retirement in 1974, Lucas turned down several offers for coaching and television work with the league. He began teaching and writing on memory-based education – selling a variety of children’s toys and games, and made television appearances. This has made him a fortunate. He conducts seminars for many companies and has developed software under the ‘ Doctor Memory ‘ name and has an active website:

    Jerry Lucas is a prominent Buckeye that fits into everyone’s list – be it for The Ohio State University – or the NBA. He was a dominating player in every degree during his tenure in Columbus. He, in fact, has made us all proud to say “Jerry Lucas was a Buckeye!” And he “still is” and “will be forever”. I am proud to include him in Making the List.

    The post Making the List: Jerry Lucas appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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