Baller of the Day: Jerry Lucas

» November 6, 2008 5:30 AM | By Brandon Hoffman

Jerry Lucas

Career Statistics

17.0 PPG, 15.6 RPG, 3.3 APG, 50 FG%, 78 FT%

Jerry Lucas wasn’t particularly tall or bruising, nor was he a great leaper, but his name can be found at the top of any list of great rebounding forwards in NBA history. The 6-8 Lucas hauled down 12,942 rebounds for an average of 15.6 per game, the fourth-best career mark in NBA history behind Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell and Bob Pettit.

Playing for three teams in his 11-year career — the Cincinnati Royals, the San Francisco Warriors and the New York Knicks — Lucas tallied 14,053 points (17.0 ppg) and finished with a lofty .499 career field-goal percentage, an impressive statistic considering that many of his points came on rainbow jumpers launched from long distance.

Lucas had the rare distinction of winning championships at every level of competition — in high school, college and the pros. He was even a member of the 1960 U.S. Olympic basketball team that won a gold medal in Rome.

A soft-spoken, genial big man, Lucas grew up in Middletown, Ohio, where he achieved basketball notoriety at an early age. As a sophomore at Middletown High School, he scored 53 and 44 points in consecutive games at a state tournament. His team won 76 consecutive games and earned two state championships, and Lucas was named Ohio Player of the Year in 1957 and 1958.

At Ohio State University, Lucas played center on a legendary Buckeyes team that went 78-6, won three Big Ten titles and captured the NCAA Championship in 1960. He earned College Player of the Year honors in 1961 and 1962. [Read]

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3 Responses to “Baller of the Day: Jerry Lucas”

  1. dusty Says:

    can i be baller of the day tomorrow?

  2. Brandon Hoffman Says:


    That’s a tough call.

    What are your odds of making it to the Basketball Hall of Fame?

  3. Gerry Says:

    One of the real legends of the game.
    Could have been a huge scorer if he wanted to, had great range as a shooter or could score inside. Great passing center, one of the very best rebounders ever.
    Was noted for helping teams win when he could been another selfish superstar.
    Also had a remarkable intelligence and memory, for which he is just as famous. Still conducts seminars on education.

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