Birthdate: March 30, 1940
Birthplace: Middletown, Ohio
High School: Middletown High School
College: The Ohio State University
Year Inducted: Charter Class of 2006
Heralded in high school as the greatest schoolboy player ever, Jerry Lucas was coveted by more than 150 colleges. He had an uncanny ability to grab a rebound and make an outlet pass, with pinpoint accuracy, to a teammate on the fast break. At Middletown High School he was an All-State Player in 1956, 1957 and 1958, All-American in 1957 and 1958 and Player of the Year in those seasons. He led Middletown to two state championships and 76 straight wins.
While at Ohio State University they won three Big Ten Championships and were in three consecutive NCAA Finals, winning the National Championship in 1960. Jerry’s ability to rebound and shoot enabled him to establish many records for OSU in rebounding and shooting accuracy. OSU’s record in his three years of varsity play was 79-6. He was a three time All-American and in 1961 and 1962 the College Player of the Year. Lucas won a Gold Medal with the Olympic Team in 1960 regarded as the best amateur team squad ever assembled. Oscar Robertson, Jerry West and Walt Bellamy were members of that team.
As a professional Jerry was selected on seven NBA All-Star Teams and was the MVP of the 1965 All-Star Game. Prior to the 1970-71 season, Lucas was traded from San Francisco to the New York Knicks and the next season helped orchestrate the Knick’s NBA championship. He still holds many NBA records for rebounding, scoring and field goal accuracy. In his professional career he collected 12,942 rebounds and scored 14,053 points. He will long be remembered for his consummate play and his over the shoulder hook shot. He was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 1980. Lucas received the inaugural Ohio Heritage Award during the 2012 Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.