March 30, 1919 - July 30, 2013
Ossie Schectman (born Oscar Benjamin Schectman) was an American professional basketball player, famous for scoring the first ever basket of the National Basketball Association (NBA), at that time called the Basketball Association of America.
Ossie Schectman – The First NBA Scorer
Ossie Schectman was born in Kew Gardens in Queens, New York City. one of the four children of a Jewish family that came from Odessa, Ukraine, at that time – within the Russian Empire. His parents immigrated to America shortly before the breakout of Russian revolution and the Civil war.
Oscar showed early interest in basketball, playing in Samuel J. Tilden High School's team, and later at Long Island University under the famed coach Clair Bee. Together with the university team, he won the National Invitation Tournament and National Championship in 1939. Нe was named to the Converse All-American team in1941 and played for Eddie Gottlieb's Philadelphia Sphas in the American Basketball League.
In1946, he joined the New York Knicks of the newly created Basketball Association of America (BAA), the precursor of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
On November 1, 1946, in the first ever game of the BAA, Schectman made the first basket against the Toronto Huskies at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens.
Soon afterwards, the league expanded and became the National Basketball Association (NBA) – Schectman's basket is considered the first in NBA's history.
Schectman ended his BAA/NBA career with 435 points, one of the highest scores for the time, and was depicted in a documentary film The First Basket.
He was entered into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1998 and into the Long Island University Athletic Hall of Fame and the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001.
Schectman died at age 94 in his house in Delray Beach, Florida.
"Schectman, Ossie". Jews in Sports
"The Story". The First Basket. November 1, 1946
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