Inductee Full Name
Birthdate: November 12, 1912
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, PA
High School: Newton Falls (Ohio) High School (1931)
College: Western Reserve (1931-1935)
Year Inducted: 2020
Harry Pontius simply was ahead of his time. At a hulking 6 feet, 4 inches and weighing 230 pounds, the northeast Ohio product was a standout in basketball, football and track both in high school and at Western Reserve. He received All-Ohio honors in both football and basketball while at Newton Falls High School and twice was named all-conference in those sports at Western. He even found time to mix in with the swimming and wrestling teams.
On the hardwood, Pontius was a force who used his athleticism and guile to overwhelm his opponents. Twice he was named honorable mention All-American.
Adept at speaking multiple languages, Pontius also was quite active on campus with involvement in several student organizations and serving as class president his junior year. In addition, he was president of student council and his fraternity as well as vice president of the local YMCA. Following college, Pontius played professional basketball with the Goodyear Wingfoots and also toiled on the football field for the Pittsburgh Pirates under an alias name so as not to jeopardize his basketball contract.
In 1981, Pontius was inducted into the case Western Reserve University Athletic Hall of Fame. He’s still considered one of that school’s best all-around athletes. He also is a member of the Trumbull County Sports Hall of Fame. Pontius enters the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame posthumously. He passed away on March 5, 2009 at the age of 96.