Birthdate: January 3, 1924
Birthplace: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
High School: Akron South High School (1942)
Colleges: University of North Carolina (1942-43); University of Akron (1949)
Died: June 5, 1989
Year Inducted: 2021
Fritz Nagy was a 1949 graduate of the University of Akron and still is considered one of that school’s all-time great players despite a career that began at North Carolina and one that was interrupted by a stint in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He stood just over 6 feet but was an uncanny natural shooter who thrived at every level of the game.
After starring at South High School in Akron, Nagy went to the University of North Carolina and immediately made an impact, leading the Southern Conference in scoring. He returned to his hometown to take a physical exam after being drafted by the Army – a test he failed because of flat feet. However, Nagy decided to stay in Ohio and transferred to play for the Zips, setting off an outstanding career which saw him produce a school-best 1,258 points in three seasons under coach Russell Beichly.
Nagy’s legend grew quickly. In his first game at Akron, he set a school scoring mark with 32 points in a 40-point win. He went on to average a 23.1 points per game as the Zips posted a 10-5 record. In 1944-45, he led UA to an Ohio Conference Championship and 13-0 mark. The 21-2 campaign included a 95-28 trouncing of Heidelberg in which Nagy amassed 42 points. The Sporting News named him a second-team All-American following the season. His 547 points stood as a school single-season record for 26 years.
Nagy missed the 1945-46 season because of military service – it turns out the Navy didn’t mind his flat feet – but he returned for a final season and again was named All-Ohio.
A charter member of Akron’s Sports Hall of Fame, Nagy played for three years at the professional level and eventually attained his degree. He enters the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame posthumously after passing away on June 5, 1989 at the age of 65.