HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK/AP) - Hal Greer, Hall of Fame guard, former Marshall Basketball Player, and the Philadelphia 76ers' career leading scorer, has died.
The Sixers said Greer died Saturday night in Arizona after a brief illness. He was 81.
Marshall Athletics released the following statement on the passing of Greer:
Marshall athletics remembers the life of Hal Greer, who passed away on Saturday. Greer was a Marshall legend, an NBA champion and a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer. During his time at Marshall, Greer solidified his place as one of the greatest representatives of the university and Marshall athletics, while also breaking boundaries.
“I’m terribly saddened by the news of Hal’s passing,” said Marshall Director of Athletics Mike Hamrick. “I had the wonderful opportunity to visit with him and his family back in February of 2012 when we closed the doors on the Veterans Memorial Field House. That is a memory I will always cherish. My thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones.”
Greer’s legacy includes being a Mid-American Conference MVP in 1958 and a two-time All-MAC selection, but his biggest and most significant accomplishment was becoming the first black athlete to play for Marshall and made 71 appearances in a Herd jersey. Greer was inducted into the Marshall University Athletics Hall of Fame for his career in basketball and baseball in 1985.
“Hal was a fantastic ambassador for Marshall and a great basketball player,” Marshall men’s basketball head coach Dan D’Antoni said. “He will forever be remembered by Herd fans and will be enshrined forever with the boulevard that is named after him.”
Greer enjoyed a long career in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers that included being an NBA champion in 1967, 10-time NBA All-Star, the 76ers’ all-time leader in points, field goals, field goals attempted, games and minutes played. He was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996 and was the first player to have his number (#15) retired by the 76ers organization in 1976.
We extend our deepest condolences and send our love, thoughts and prayers to the Greer family during this difficult time.
He played at Marshall and was the 13th overall pick by the Nationals in the 1958 draft.
Greer spent 15 seasons with the Syracuse Nationals and Philadelphia 76ers and finished his career with a record 21,586 points. He's also the 76ers' career leader in field goals, field goals attempted, games and minutes played.
Greer was the first player to have his number retired (15) by the 76ers in 1976. Greer also became the first player to be honored with a sculpture on 76ers Legends Walk at the team training complex in 2017.
Greer made 10 straight All-Star games and earned All-Star Game MVP honors in 1968. He was also the second-leading scorer on Philadelphia's NBA championship team of 1966-67 and would earn a spot on the NBA 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996.
The Sixers will honor Greer before their playoff game against the Miami Heat on Monday night.
The Sixers said Greer was survived by his wife Mayme, a son and two daughters.
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