Marshall University unveils new Hal Greer statue

Local News

HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) — Marshall University is once again celebrating the life of former athlete Hal Greer. In addition to having a street named after him, a statue has been made in his honor.

After being announced in 2019, the new Hal Greer Statue plan has finally come to fruition. Many of Greer’s relatives were present during the ceremony Saturday afternoon and they say they were amazed by the finished product.

We’ve heard a lot about it and we saw the smaller figure and then to come here and see it all complete, it’s more than… I just can’t put it into words.

Kelly Greer, Hal Greer’s daughter

Hal Greer was the first African-American player to break the “Color barrier” in West Virginia in the 1950s. During his time at Marshall, he lead the thundering herd to a Mid-American conference title as well as the school’s first NCAA tournament appearance in 1956 and was also named an all-conference player in 1957 and 1958.

Greer’s career exceeded the college level when he was selected in the second round of the NBA draft by the Syracuse Nationals.

The statue’s sculptor Frederick Hightower is from the Fairfield community, the same area Greer grew up. He says growing up in the same area makes this piece especially meaningful.

Hal Greer represents a lot to our community. More than anything I would like it to be an inspiration that this is a great university when people drive by that this isn’t just run of the mill and that in a way it becomes a logo in a sense of the greatness of Marshall University.

Frederick Hightower, sculptor

His daughters say their father would have loved this honor, not just because of the excellent detail, but for what it stands for. Greer passed away in 2018, but for Marshall University, his legacy will live on forever.

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