Dolph Schayes

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Dolph Schayes
Dolph Schayes 1955 (2).jpeg
Schayes in 1955
Personal information
Born(1928-05-19)May 19, 1928
The Bronx, New York
DiedDecember 10, 2015(2015-12-10) (aged 87)
Syracuse, New York
Listed height6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school DeWitt Clinton
(Bronx, New York)
College NYU (1944–1948)
BAA draft 1948 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4th overall
Selected by the New York Knicks
Playing career1948–1964
Position Power forward / Center
Number55, 4
Coaching career1963–1972
Career history
As player:
19481964 Syracuse Nationals / Philadelphia 76ers
As coach:
19631966 Philadelphia 76ers
19701972 Buffalo Braves
Career highlights and awards
As player:

As coach:

Career NBA statistics
Points 19,249 (18.2 ppg) (NBL/BAA/NBA)
18,438 (18.5 ppg) (BAA/NBA)
Rebounds 11,256 (12.1 rpg)
Assists 3,072 (3.1 apg)
Stats at
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

Adolph Schayes (May 19, 1928 – December 10, 2015) was an American professional basketball player and coach in the National Basketball Association (NBA). A top scorer and rebounder, he was a 12-time NBA All-Star and a 12-time All-NBA selection. Schayes won an NBA championship with the Syracuse Nationals in 1955. [1] He was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History and inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Basketball team sport played on a court with baskets on either end

Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play (overtime) is mandated.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a men's professional basketball league in North America, composed of 30 teams. It is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, and is widely considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world.

Rebound (basketball) basketball term

In basketball, a rebound, sometimes colloquially referred to as a board, is a statistic awarded to a player who retrieves the ball after a missed field goal or free throw. Rebounds are also given to a player who tips in a missed shot on his team's offensive end. Rebounds in basketball are a routine part in the game, as most possessions change after a shot is successfully made, or the rebound allows the defensive team to take possession. A rebound can be grabbed by either an offensive player or a defensive player.


Schayes played his entire career with the Nationals and their successor, the Philadelphia 76ers, from 1948 to 1964. [2] In his 16-year career, he led his team into the playoffs 15 times. [3] After the Nationals moved to Philadelphia, Schayes became player-coach of the newly-minted 76ers. He retired after the 1963-64 season and stayed on as coach for two more seasons, earning NBA Coach of the Year honors in 1966. He briefly coached with the Buffalo Braves.

Philadelphia 76ers American professional basketball team from 1946, in Syracuse 1946–1963, then in Philadelphia

The Philadelphia 76ers are an American professional basketball team based in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The 76ers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division and play at Wells Fargo Center. Founded in 1946 and originally known as the Syracuse Nationals, they are one of the oldest franchises in the NBA, and one of only eight to survive the league's first decade.

The NBA playoffs are a best-of-seven elimination tournament annually held after the National Basketball Association (NBA)’s regular season to determine the league's champion.


A player-coach is a member of a sports team who simultaneously holds both playing and coaching duties. A player-coach may be a head coach or an assistant coach. They may make changes to the squad and also play on the team.

Early years

Schayes was born in the Bronx, New York, the son of Tina ( née Michel), a homemaker, and Carl Schayes, a truck driver for Consolidated Laundries. [4] His parents were Romanian-Jewish immigrants. [5] He grew up on Davidson Avenue and 183rd Street, near Jerome Avenue in University Heights, Bronx. [6]

Jerome Avenue thoroughfare in The Bronx, United States

Jerome Avenue is one of the longest thoroughfares in the New York City borough of the Bronx, New York, United States. The road is 5.6 miles (9.0 km) long and stretches from Highbridge general area to Woodlawn. Both of these termini are with the Major Deegan Expressway which runs parallel to the west. Most of the elevated IRT Jerome Avenue Line runs along Jerome Avenue. The Cross Bronx Expressway interchanges with Jerome and the Deegan. Though it runs through what is now the West Bronx neighborhood, Jerome Avenue is the dividing avenue between nominal and some named "West" and "East" streets in the Bronx; Fifth Avenue, and to a lesser extent, Broadway, also splits Manhattan into nominal "West" and "East" streets.

University Heights, Bronx Neighborhood of the Bronx in New York City

University Heights is a neighborhood of the West Bronx in New York City. Its boundaries, starting from the north and moving clockwise, are: West Fordham Road to the north, Jerome Avenue to the east, West Burnside Avenue to the south and the Harlem River to the west. University Avenue is the primary thoroughfare in University Heights.

Basketball career

High school and college

He attended Creston Junior High School 79 and DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, New York, where he played for the basketball team and led it to a borough championship. [3] [7] He played his college basketball at New York University (NYU) in 1944–48. In 1945, as a 16-year-old freshman, Schayes helped NYU reach the NCAA final. [8] Schayes earned an aeronautical engineering degree, was an All-American in basketball and won the Haggerty Award in his final year. [2] [8] [9] His NYU coach, Howard Cann, said of him: "He was in the gym practicing every spare minute. We had to chase him out." [7]

DeWitt Clinton High School American public secondary school

DeWitt Clinton High School is a public high school located since 1929 in The Bronx, New York, United States. Opened in 1897 in Lower Manhattan and initially operated as an all-boys school, it maintained that status for nearly 100 years. In 1983 it became co-ed. From its original building on West 13th Street in Manhattan, it moved in 1906 to its second home on 59th Street and Tenth Avenue. In 1929 the school moved to its present home on Mosholu Parkway in the Bronx.

The Bronx Borough in New York City and county in New York, United States

The Bronx is the northernmost of the five boroughs of New York City, in the U.S. state of New York. It is south of Westchester County; northeast and east of Manhattan, across the Harlem River; and north of Queens, across the East River. Since 1914, the borough has had the same boundaries as Bronx County, the third-most densely populated county in the United States.

New York University private research university in New York, NY, United States

New York University (NYU) is a private research university originally founded in New York City but now with campuses and locations throughout the world. Founded in 1831, NYU's historical campus is in Greenwich Village, New York City. As a global university, students can graduate from its degree-granting campuses in NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai, as well as study at its 12 academic centers in Accra, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Florence, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Paris, Prague, Sydney, Tel Aviv, and Washington, D.C.

Professional career

Schayes was drafted by both the New York Knicks in the 1948 BAA draft (1st round; 4th pick overall), and by the Tri-Cities Blackhawks in the NBL draft. [10] The Blackhawks traded his rights to the Syracuse Nationals, who then offered him a contract worth $7,500 (worth $78,200 today), 50% more than the Knicks, influencing his decision to go to Syracuse. [9] [11] Schayes played one season in the NBL and was named the league's Rookie of the Year. [12] The following season (1949–50), the Nationals moved to the newly formed National Basketball Association as part of the merger between the BAA and NBL.

New York Knicks professional basketball team based in New York City, New York.

The New York Knickerbockers, more commonly referred to as the Knicks, are an American professional basketball team based in the borough of Manhattan, in New York City. The Knicks compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. The team plays its home games at Madison Square Garden, an arena they share with the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League (NHL). They are one of two NBA teams located in New York City; the other is the Brooklyn Nets. Alongside the Boston Celtics, the Knicks are one of two original NBA teams still located in its original city.

The 1948 BAA draft was the second annual draft of the Basketball Association of America (BAA), which later became the National Basketball Association (NBA). The draft was held on May 10, 1948, before to the 1948–49 season. In this draft, eight BAA teams along with four teams who moved from the National Basketball League, took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players.

The National Basketball League (NBL) was a professional men's basketball league in the United States established in 1937. After the 1948–49 season, its twelfth, it merged with the Basketball Association of America (BAA) to create the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Although tall for his era at 6' 7" (201 cm), Schayes was especially known for his deadly, high-arcing, outside set-shot. It arced so high that his teammates referred to it as "Sputnik". [13] Defenders who attempted to deny him the outside shot were confronted by his powerful drive to the basket. [14] These two offensive weapons served him well, even as the NBA was transitioning into a league of jump-shooters.

Early in Schayes' career, he broke his right arm and played almost an entire season in a cast. Oddly, this injury became a seminal point in his development: he learned to shoot with his off-hand, making him especially difficult to guard. He was one of the best—and the last—to use a two-handed set-shot with feet planted on the floor, before the game changed to one-handed jump shots. [11] [15]

Schayes in 1951 Dolph Schayes 1951.jpeg
Schayes in 1951

In the 1949–50 season, he was 6th in the league in assists, with 259. [10] He led the NBA in rebounding in 1950–51 (in which he also had 10 of the top 14 individual rebounding games), with 1,080 and a 16.4-per-game average. [16] [16] [17] He was third in the league in rebounding in 1952–53, with 920. [10] In 1953–54, his 12.3 rebounds per game were fourth-best in the NBA. [10]

In 1954–55, he led his team to the NBA championship. [10] In 1956–57, he led the league in minutes-per-game (39.6) and free throws (625), while grabbing 1,008 rebounds (3rd in the league) and averaging 22.6 points per game (4th in the league). In 1957, he set an NBA consecutive free throw record in a single game with 18. [18] In 1957–58 he again led the league in minutes-per-game (40.5), and averaged a career-high 24.9 points per game, second in the league, while averaging 14.2 rebounds per game (fourth in the NBA). [1] [10]

Schayes led the NBA in free throw percentage three times: in 1958 (.904), 1960 (.892) and 1962 (.896). [16] [17] [19] In 1959, he scored a career-high 50 points in a game against the Celtics. [18] In the NBA, he didn't miss a single game from February 17, 1952 to December 26, 1961, an NBA-record streak of 706 games. [18] In 1960–61, he again led the league in free throws (with 680). [10] In 1961, he became the first player in NBA history to amass 30,000 career total PRA (Points + Rebounds + Assists). He was the first person in the NBA to ever surpass 15,000 points. [8]

A 12-time NBA All-Star, Schayes was a six-time All-NBA First Team honoree, and was also selected to the All-NBA Second Team six times. [19] He came in second in MVP voting in 1958, and 5th in both 1956 and 1957. [15] When he retired in 1964, he held the NBA records for games played (996), foul shots made (6,712), attempted (7,904), personal fouls (3,432) and was second to Bob Pettit in scoring (18,438) and third in rebounds (11,256).[ citation needed ]

In 1970, he was elected to the NBA 25th Anniversary Team as one of the top 12 retired players. [15]

In 1972, he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. [2] He is also a member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, the US National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, and the National Jewish American Sports Hall of Fame. [20]

In 1996, he was selected as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. [21]

The 76ers retired his jersey on March 12, 2016 while the Syracuse Crunch retired it on March 26, 2016. [22] [23]

NBA coach and referee supervisor

When the Nationals moved to Philadelphia in 1963, Schayes was named player-coach of the Philadelphia 76ers. He retired as a player after the season, but stayed on as coach for three more seasons. He was named NBA Coach of the Year in 1966. [16] From 1966 to 1970, he was the supervisor of NBA referees. [2] [21] He was named the first coach of the Buffalo Braves in 1970, but was fired one game into his second season. [8]

Maccabiah Games coach

Schayes coached the US Maccabiah Games basketball team to an upset win to take the gold medal in the 1977 Maccabiah Games. [2] [21] [24] [25] He also coached the U.S. Masters basketball team at the 1993 Maccabiah Games. [26] He also played an active role raising money for the Maccabiah Games. [21] [25]

Personal life

Schayes settled in Syracuse, New York in 1948, where he first played in the NBA, and where he was a real estate developer after his playing days. [27]

Schayes' son is retired NBA center Danny Schayes, who played for Jamesville-DeWitt High School, in DeWitt, New York; Syracuse University; and in the NBA for 18 seasons. [2] [7] His granddaughters Abi, Carla, and Rachel Goettsch won silver medals for the United States volleyball team at the 2001 Maccabiah Games, and his grandson Mickey Ferri won a gold medal in the 4 × 100 metres relay at the 2005 Maccabiah Games. [26] [28]

In May 2015, Schayes was inducted into the Bronx Walk of Fame, where he received a street named in his honor, called "Dolph Schayes Street". [29]


Schayes died of cancer on December 10, 2015, at the age of 87. [8] [30]

NBA career statistics

  GPGames played  GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage 3P%  3-point field goal percentage FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game APG  Assists per game SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game PPG Points per game Bold Career high
Denotes season in which Schayes won an NBA championship
*Led the league

Regular season

1949–50 Syracuse 64.385.7744.016.8
1950–51 Syracuse 66.357.75216.4*3.817.0
1951–52 Syracuse 6331.8.355.80712.32.913.8
1952–53 Syracuse 7137.6.374.82713.03.217.8
1953–54 Syracuse 7236.9.380.82712.13.017.1
1954–55 Syracuse 7235.1.383.83312.33.018.5
1955–56 Syracuse 7235.0.387.85812.42.820.4
1956–57 Syracuse 7239.6*.379.90414.03.222.5
1957–58 Syracuse 7240.5*.398.904*
1958–59 Syracuse 7236.7.387.86413.42.521.3
1959–60 Syracuse 7536.5.401.893*12.83.422.5
1960–61 Syracuse 7938.1.372.86812.23.723.6
1961–62 Syracuse 5626.4.357.897*
1962–63 Syracuse 6621.8.388.8795.72.79.5
1963–64 Philadelphia 2414.6.308.8074.62.05.6


1950 Syracuse 11.385.7332.517.1
1951 Syracuse 7.448.76614.6*2.920.4
1952 Syracuse 735.4.451.76912.92.120.3
1953 Syracuse
1954 Syracuse 1328.8.457.74110.51.816.0
1955 Syracuse 1133.0.359.84012.8*3.619.0
1956 Syracuse 838.8.366.88013.93.422.1
1957 Syracuse 543.0.305.89118.02.821.4
1958 Syracuse 343.7.391.83315.03.126.7
1959 Syracuse 939.0.400.91613.04.628.2
1960 Syracuse 342.0.455.933*16.02.729.3
1961 Syracuse 838.5.336.900*11.42.620.6
1962 Syracuse 519.0.364.6927.01.011.4
1963 Syracuse 521.6.455.9175.61.410.2

See also

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