Ossie Schechtman, Jewish Basketball Star, Dies at 94

Scored First Basket in NBA Precursor

youtube

By JTA

Published July 31, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Ossie Schectman, who scored the first basket in the league that would become the NBA, has died.

Schectman, a New York native who made the historic layup while playing for his hometown Knicks, died Tuesday. He was 94.

The Knicks were playing the Toronto Huskies on Nov. 1, 1946 in the first game of the Basketball Association of America, a forerunner of the National Basketball Association, when Schechtman scored on a fast break.

“It was a simple give-and-go,” Schectman recalled in a 1997 NPR story, according to Deadspin. “It was one of those fast breaks, pass the ball, went to the basket, got a return pass.” Schechtman, a 6-foot guard from Kew Gardens in Queens, starred at Long Island University, guiding the Blackbirds to an undefeated 1938-39 season and titles in the NIT and NCAA tournaments.

In 1998, Shechtman was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. He was the subject of the 2008 documentary film “The First Basket,” which chronicles the Jewish roots of basketball.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.