The First Basket
New York Knicks
| Philadelphia Sphas|
6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
| March 30, 1919
Queens, New York (1919-03-30) |
LIU Brooklyn (1938–1941)
July 30, 2013, Delray Beach, Florida, United States
Samuel J. Tilden High School, Long Island University
Small forward, Shooting guard
Ossie Schectman Wikipedia
Oscar Benjamin "Ossie" Schectman (March 30, 1919 – July 30, 2013) was an American professional basketball player. He is credited with having scored the first basket in the Basketball Association of America (BAA), which would later become the National Basketball Association (NBA),.
Schectman was born on March 30, 1919, in Kew Gardens in Queens, New York City. His parents were Jewish immigrants from Russia. He had four siblings. He played basketball while attending Samuel J. Tilden High School in Brooklyn, New York, and played under coach Clair Bee at Long Island University. He was a member of the team in 1939, when they won the National Invitation Tournament and National Championship. He was named to the Converse All-American first team in 1941.
After obtaining his degree from LIU, Schectman played for Eddie Gottlieb's Philadelphia Sphas in the American Basketball League. The Sphas joined the ABL in 1933 and won the league championship in 1942–43. He was second in the league in scoring with 199 points (10.5 average) in 1943–44. He played with the Sphas until 1946, when he joined the New York Knicks of the Basketball Association of America.
On November 1, 1946, in the first ever game of the Basketball Association of America (BAA), Schectman made the first basket when the Knicks played the Toronto Huskies at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens. The Knicks won the game 68–66. In 1949, the league expanded and became the National Basketball Association (NBA); thus, Schectman's basket is considered the first in NBA history. Schectman played 54 games for the Knicks in his one season with the team. In that one season, Schectman averaged 8.1 points per game, ranking 39th in the league. This helped him have the highest win share for his team. Schectman ended his BAA career with 435 points.
Schectman joined the Paterson Crescents of the ABL. The team won the league championship in 1947–48, and Schectman was named to the All-ABL first team.
He was made a member of the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Long Island University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001. He was also inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame. Schectman appeared in the 2008 documentary film The First Basket.
On July 30, 2013, Schectman died at age 94 in Delray Beach, Florida. He was survived by his wife, Evelyn, and his sons Stewart and Peter.