The legend who influenced a street will soon also have a statue. Marshall University announced it plans to build a statue of Huntington basketball legend, Hal Greer.
The design will be unveiled Saturday, Jan. 12, during halftime of Marshall’s basketball game against Western Kentucky. The game tips off at 7 p.m. at the Cam Henderson Center.
Greer’s family members and the sculptor chosen for the project, Huntington’s Frederick Hightower, will participate in the unveiling ceremony. According to Marshall, Hightower will begin working on the statue soon, which is expected to stand 7 feet, 5 inches tall.
The man behind the street name “Hal Greer Boulevard” was a trailblazer on the court and in the community. Greer, a Huntington-native, was Marshall’s first black scholarship athlete. He went on to play a successful career in the NBA and joined the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Marshall Athletics Hall of Fame. He died in April at 81 years old.
“Hal Greer is a trailblazer,” said Mike Hamrick, Marshall’s Director of Athletics. “He set the stage for black athletes throughout our great state and country. His ability on the court is unquestioned. He took his talents from Huntington to Marshall and then to the NBA, where he is regarded as one of the greatest players of all-time. This statue is a deserved tribute for Hal and his family.”
“It is absolutely fitting that Marshall University honor not only one of the finest student-athletes ever to play here, but also our first black scholarship student-athlete,” said Marshall president Jerome Gilbert. “I’ve talked to a number of people who knew Hal and I’m incredibly proud to call him a Son of Marshall. He was a great basketball player and, as I’ve been told, a wonderful person and role model. One of my hopes since coming to Marshall was that there would be another opportunity to highlight Hal’s legacy at Marshall. I can’t wait to see the finished statue.”