Birthdate: May 3, 1958
Birthplace: Toledo, OH
High School: Toledo (Ohio) Macomber High School (1976)
College: The Ohio State University (1976-1980)
Year Inducted: 2020
With his short shorts, bountiful afro, signature between-the-legs dribble and penchant for making winning plays under pressure, Kelvin Ransey was the epitome of cool in the 1970s. He also, without question, left The Ohio State University as one of the school’s all-time great basketball players.
Listed 6-1 and 170 pounds, Ransey had the ability to break down defenses in a variety of ways and simply was one of the best combo guards in college basketball for much of his time at OSU. For his splendid four-year career, the Toledo product averaged 17.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game while shooting 49.0 percent from the field and 78.0 percent from the free-throw line. He finished second in the Big Ten in scoring as a junior with 21.4 ppg and ranked second on the team to center Herb Williams as a senior with 16.2 ppg while leading the way with 5.9 assists per outing.
Starting 109 of 112 career games and averaging 35.4 minutes per contest for coach Eldon Miller, Ransey helped return the Buckeyes to prominence while facing Big Ten backcourt foes such as Magic, Johnson, Isiah Thomas, Mike McGee, Trent Tucker, Wes Matthews and Ronnie Lester.
Ransey was the fourth overall selection of the 1980 NBA draft and logged a six-year career with Portland, Dallas and New Jersey, putting up averages of 11.4 points and 5.2 assists from 1980-86. He also was a standout with the Columbus Horizon of the Continental Basketball Association during that franchise’s initial season of 1989-90.
Many basketball historians consider Ransey to be perhaps the best guard in Ohio State history. His 1,934 points rank fifth all-time at OSU; his 516 career assists rank third. His success also seemed to open an OSU basketball pipeline to Toledo, which eventually sent the likes of Dennis Hopson, Jim Jackson and William Buford to Columbus.
The runner-up by one vote for NBA Rookie of the Year in 1986, Ransey eventually returned to his hometown to become a minister. He now resides in Tupelo, Miss.