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July 30: Two Points!

July 29, 2015

ossie3Ossie Schectman, who scored the very first basket in the Basketball Association of America’s very first game on November 1, 1946, died at 94 on this date in 2013. The Basketball Association would become the NBA three years later. Schectman, only six feet tall, was team captain and point guard with the New York Knicks and scored his two points as a lay-up against the Toronto Huskies. The Knicks won the game 68-66, with Schectman scoring 11 points. He played for only one season, averaging 8.1 points per game and earning $9,000 on a team with an entire payroll of $60,000. To see his basket on video, look below.

“He learned to play basketball at settlement houses and, more informally, by shooting balls through the low rung of a tenement fire-escape ladder. He then played for Samuel J. Tilden High School in Brooklyn. Schectman played for L.I.U. teams that won the National Invitation Tournament at Madison Square Garden in 1939, completing an unbeaten season, and again in 1941, at a time when the N.I.T. was more important than the N.C.A.A. tournament.... ‘I wish I could have known how to do a crossover dribble,’ he said. ‘That really looks like a lot of fun.’ ” —Richard Goldstein, New York Times