Marshall unveiling model of Greer statue

January 11, 2019

HUNTINGTON — Hal Greer, the late, great Marshall Thundering Herd men’s basketball legend, will soon have a statue placed in his memory at Cam Henderson Center.

Greer passed away at age 81 on April 14, 2018. He is enshrined in the Marshall Athletic Hall of Fame, the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.

A model of the sculpture being made by Huntington artist Frederick Hightower is being unveiled Saturday during halftime of the 7 p.m. Marshall home game with Western Kentucky. When completed the full body statue will be erected on the northwest side of the arena near the corner of Third Avenue and 18th Street.

Some of the Greer family that includes his wife, Mayme, daughters Cherie and Kelly and son, Hal Jr., will be at the presentation. A video tribute to Greer is scheduled for halftime.

Marshall is also having Basketball Alumni Weekend with numerous former players expected to attend. former basketball team members who requested tickets include Blaine Henry, J.R. VanHoose, Tamar Slay, Mark Patton, Lou Mott, John Milhoan, Steve Zemba and Tex Williams. Others who didn’t ask for tickets will also be there.

Greer was a Huntington native who grew up on Doulton Avenue just off a street that was named for him, Hal Greer Boulevard. He was a star player at the old Douglass High School and Cam Henderson recruited him to Marshall. In 1955, playing for coach Jule Rivlin, he became the first African-American scholarship athlete at Marshall.

He was named to the All Mid-American Conference teams in 1957 and 1958 when he ended his college career second in Herd history with 1,377 points and ninth in rebounds with 765. He was part of the 1956 MAC championship team that was Marshall’s first NCAA Tournament participant.

“Hurryin’ Hal” was named to the NBA 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996 following a 15-year career from 1958 to 1973 that included 10 All-Star Game appearances, All-Star Game MVP honors in 1968 and a role in helping the Philadelphia 76ers win a championship in 1968.

He was drafted in 1958 by the Syracuse Nationals, who became the 76ers in 1963. He is the 76ers career leader with 21,586 points, games played (1,222) and field goals (8,504). His NBA career averages were 19.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists.

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