Adolph Schayes (b. 1928) was born in New York to Romanian-Jewish immigrants. Growing up playing basketball, he led his high school team to the championships, then earned an engineering degree while playing college basketball. Schayes was drafted by both the New York Knicks and Tri-City Blackhawks in 1948, though he ended up playing in Syracuse, winning the 1949 NBA Rookie of the Year. His height (6’8″) and high-arcing shot (nicknamed “Sputnik”) made him a powerful player. Most amazingly, Schayes once broke his arm, but continued to play the entire season in a cast! He learned to play with his weaker arm, making him even more deadly on the court. Year after year, Schayes dominated the league stats, set records, and led his team to be NBA Champions in 1955. In 1961 he became the first player to reach 30,000 PRA (points, rebounds and assists). He retired having been a twelve-time All-Star, with records for number of games played, both attempted and successful foul shots, and second overall in scoring. He is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame and Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, and was ranked one of the 50 best NBA players of all time. He also won an NBA Coach of the Year award in 1966, and strangely, once served as both a coach and a player in the same season. Patriarch of a talented sports family, Dolph’s son Danny Schayes played 18 seasons in the NBA, while his granddaughters won silver medals on the U.S. Volleyball team, and his grandson is a gold medalist relay sprinter. Schayes now works as a real estate developer in the Syracuse area.
UPDATE: Sadly, Dolph Schayes passed away on December 10, 2015.
Words of the Week
…a scattered people, dispersed over the world, enslaved, persecuted, scorned by all nations, nonetheless preserving its characteristics, its laws, its customs, its patriotic love of the early social union, when all ties with it seem broken. The Jews provide us with an astonishing spectacle: the laws of Numa, Lycurgus, Solon are dead; the very much older laws of Moses are still alive. Athens, Sparta, Rome have perished and no longer have children left on earth; Zion, destroyed, has not lost its children.
– Jean-Jacques Rousseau