Coached East technical High School to twin state championships in 1958 and 1959, the first such titles by a Cleveland team. From 1953 through 1959 his teams won 122 games while losing only 6, twice fashioning undefeated seasons. He was elected to the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Hall of fame in 1965.
An outstanding and durable career, spanning 1927 to 1942, led her to star for numerous Class A and Tri-State championship teams including the World Champion Newman Stern girls. A top scorer, she holds a one-game record of 100 points.
From 10th grade until graduation, he led the East Technical High School team in the scoring and was selected for All-City and all East Senate honors. He was rated number one Ohio High School player in the second year that Tech won the state title. A collegiate career at Grambling College and Providence College continued his star role leading to All-American honors. After college, he was the leading scorer in the Greater Cleveland Class A league for six years.
While attending St. Ignatius High School from 1956 through 1958 he won all-scholastic and most valuable player honors in the last two years, and All-Ohio designation in 1958. At the University of Dayton he was voted most valuable player in 1960 and 1962, (the year Dayton won the NIT Championship) which led to All-American selection that year.
Born in Georgia, raised in Wheeling WV where he was an all-state football and basketball star, then became an all-conference basketball standout at Lincoln University in Missouri and an all-U.S. Army cage star in Germany, he returned to West Virginia in 1959 then headed north to join the Cleveland Pipers of the American Basketball League. Fortunately for the City of Cleveland, his travels stopped on the shores of Lake Erie. Like the very special man who was his coach with the Pipers, John B. McLendon, Jr., he became a special figure in the city’s athletic picture, teaching, coaching, serving as an athletic director and department chairmen in the Cleveland Public Schools from 1966 to 1985, and working with the Cleveland Recreation Department as Supervisor of Recreation and Manager of Organized Sports during that same period. He also began an affiliation in 1972 with the Cleveland Baseball Federation as Supervisor and Director of Operations for its amateur baseball programs which continue to this day. His retirement in 1986 from the city schools and recreation department opened the door for him to direct basketball program which would provide activities for 1,850 city youths aged 9-17 and also to play a key role in the organization of the Summer Pro-Am NCAA Basketball League which attracted NBA and top college basketball players to Cleveland State’s Woodling Gym for a decade. From 1988-2000 he also served as Director of the Cleveland Municipal Football League which more than doubled in size under his guidance, and had been instrumental in the growth of the Cleveland Old Timers Basketball Club. He makes his home in East Cleveland.
There were no outbreaks of frenzied jubilation on High Street when the news unobtrusively leaked out that a tall l (6-9), rather skinny (210 lbs) basketball center nicknamed “Slats” had transferred to Ohio State from Eastern Kentucky State Teachers College. There should have been. In two seasons with the Buckeyes he would help lead them to two NCAA Final Four appearances, just the school’s second and third times ever in that elite company. He left as unobtrusively as he arrived the next season to sign a pro contract with the Indianapolis Kautskys of the National Basketball League which would launch a 12-year professional career that would eventually lead to his election to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of fame in 1998. After two seasons in the NBL he joined a group of stars including George Mikan, Jim Pollard and Red Holzman who jumped before the 1947-48 season to the rival Basketball Association of America which would morph to the NBA. Competing with the Rochester Royals from 1948 to 1955 and the Boston Celtics from 1955 to 1958 he would play on two NBA championship teams (Rochester in 1951 and on Boston’s first NBA title team in 1957) and was a four-time All-Star, scoring 7,633 points during his career. He has for many years made his home in Pepper Pike.
Arguably the best high school basketball player ever to come out of Greater Cleveland’s small school ranks, he enjoyed a fabled career at Cuyahoga Heights High, culminating with his selection as an All-American in 1973 after leading the state in scoring with a 32.9 ppg average and being named Ohio’s Class A High School Basketball Player of the Year. Those feats earned him a scholarship to the University of Minnesota where he stepped right in to a starters’ role. The heady backcourt general started 101 of the 103 contests he played in for the Golden Gophers and as a senior helped lead the team to a then school best 24-3 record. His playing career ended with that season, but not his association with basketball. A transformation from player to coach was made as easily as the step up from Cuyahoga Heights to Minnesota basketball. It began with four seasons guiding the fortunes of Grand Valley (MN) Lutheran College to a 92-13 record including a perfect 56-0 home court mark, continued through the major college ranks as an assistant for seven successful season and seven more impressive years as a CBA head coach, then culminated in a move to the Minnesota Timberwolves as the NBA team’s general manager in May 1995. It was a job that lasted only until he asked to take over as the team’s head coach seven months later, a position he still fills with the distinction that has marked his entire career.
A three-sport at Cleveland West High, where he captained the baseball, basketball and football teams, he appeared on track to a professional baseball career after earning All-Ohio diamond honors at West in 1964 and subsequently playing for two years in the Cleveland Indians farm system. Instead, his future in sports took a sharp right turn which transformed him into one of—perhaps the—most successful college basketball referees ever to come out of the Greater Cleveland area. Donning, his first striped shirt at the age of 28 in 1974, he began a career as a Big 10 official in 1976 which has spanned 26 years and led to officiating assignments in 20 consecutive NCAA Men’s National Basketball Tournaments, including an appearance in the Final Four and numerous “Elite Eight” and “Sweet 16” match-ups. He has also called National Invitation Tournament games for two decades, including the 1993 championship at Madison Square Garden, and a tournament championship games for virtually every major collegiate conference. President of Big Ten Officials Association for eight terms and director of two nationally acclaimed camps, one for baseball, his “real job” is as coordinator of the Occupational Work Experience program at Buckeye High School in Medina County, where he has won honors as Educator of the Year and Employee of the Year. He currently makes his home in Westlake.
A legend before his time, he came to Cleveland to enroll at Cleveland State University with a storied reputation as a New York basketball wonder who had bypassed his high school team to make a name in AAU and playground circles. Nothing he did in a Viking uniform diminished his stature. As a freshman in 1985-86, h, and he quickly became an integral part of the best team in school history, one which built a 27-3 mark to win its first-ever berth in the NCAA Tournament, then captured they city’s hearts by upsetting Indiana and St. Joseph’s to advance to the Sweet 16 before suffering a heart-breaking 71-70 loss to David Robinson-led Navy. When his college career ended three seasons later, he was the holder of CSU’s career records for points scored (2,256), assists (463), and free throws attempted and made (761-597) and was second in six other career categories. He had also established single season marks in five categories, been named the Vikings’ Most Valuable Player in three seasons and earned all-conference honors for each of his four years and All-American designated three times. He was voted into the CSU Athletic Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility after a five-year stint in the professional ranks when he returned to CSU to complete work for his degree. He now serves as the “Mouse” McFadden to make his job easier. He makes his home in Euclid.
Five seasons in a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform were all the 6-11 Racine, WI native needed to establish himself as one of the finest players in team history. The verdict was first delivered in 1991 when fans voted him the starting center on the “Classic Cavs Team” covering the club’s first 20 years, and re-enforced a decade later when he was named to the 12-man All-Time Cavs Team. An All-American for a 25-4 Marquette University quintet in 1971-72, when he averaged 20.5 points and 11.9 rebounds per game, and a member of the 1971 U.S. Pan-American Games team, he turned pro in 1973. After two seasons in the American Basketball Association (ABA), he joined the Cavs for the 1974-75 season. His finest year came in 75-76—the memorable “Miracle of Richfield Year”—when he averaged a career high 15.8 ppg, but he scored in double figures in each of his five Cavs seasons, while his 3,790 rebounds rank third on the team’s all-time leaders list. He ended his playing career with two seasons in Los Angeles, where he was a member of the Lakers’ 1979-80 championship squad and two years with European teams, then returned to Cleveland and worked for 11 years as a Cavaliers television analyst. He now resides in Orange Village and is marketing director for a construction company.
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