Greer in 1969
|Born||June 26, 1936|
Huntington, West Virginia
|Died||April 14, 2018 (aged 81)|
|Listed height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Listed weight||175 lb (79 kg)|
|High school||Douglass (Huntington, West Virginia)|
|NBA draft||1958 / Round: 2 / Pick: 13th overall|
|Selected by the Syracuse Nationals|
|Position||Shooting guard / Point guard|
|1958-1973||Syracuse Nationals / Philadelphia 76ers|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Points||21,586 (19.2 ppg)|
|Rebounds||5,665 (5.0 rpg)|
|Assists||4,540 (4.0 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
|Basketball Hall of Fame as player|
|College Basketball Hall of Fame|
Inducted in 2006
Harold Everett Greer (June 26, 1936 - April 14, 2018) was an American professional basketball player. He played for the Syracuse Nationals / Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1958 through 1973. A guard, Greer was a 10-time NBA All-Star and was named to the All-NBA Second Team seven times. He was named to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team and he had his uniform number retired by the 76ers. Greer is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Born in Huntington, West Virginia, Greer attended Douglass Junior and Senior High School in Huntington. Douglass was an all-black school. He played as a guard for Douglass' men's basketball team. He enrolled at Marshall University and played college basketball for the Marshall Thundering Herd's basketball team, becoming the first African American to play for a public college in West Virginia.
With the Thundering Herd, Greer scored 1,377 points with a .545 field goal percentage, setting a Marshall record. In 1956, Marshall won the Mid-American Conference championship, and made their first NCAA men's basketball tournament appearance. Greer was named All-Mid-American Conference in 1957 and 1958. He was named an All-American in 1958 as well. Greer finished his Marshall career averaging 19.4 points per game and 10.8 rebounds per game. In 1958, his senior year, Greer averaged 23.6 points per game. Greer also played for the school's baseball team in his sophomore year as a first baseman.
The Syracuse Nationals selected Greer with the 13th selection in the 1958 NBA draft. Greer played for Syracuse for five seasons, raising his scoring average to 22.8 points a game in 1961. He was selected for the NBA All-Star team that year.
In 1963, the Syracuse Nationals moved to Philadelphia to become the Philadelphia 76ers. There, Greer teamed with Wilt Chamberlain on the 1966-67 team that won the NBA championship. In the 76ers' 15 playoff games that season, Greer averaged a team-best 27.7 points. Greer had an unusual but highly effective free throw technique, shooting a jump shot from the charity stripe. He is usually considered the third-best guard of the 1960s, behind Oscar Robertson and fellow West Virginia native Jerry West.
Greer played in 10 NBA All-Star Games and was the MVP of the 1968 game when he went 8-for-8 from the field and scored 21 points, a record-breaking 19 in one quarter. He also was chosen to the All-NBA Second Team seven times, and scored 21,586 points during his NBA career. When he retired after the 1972-73 season, he ranked as the all-time leader in games played and was in the top ten in both points scored and field goals made. As of his death, Greer is the franchise record holder for points scored, field goals, field goal attempts, games played, and minutes played.
Greer's hometown has honored his success by holding "Hal Greer Day" in 1966, and by renaming 16th Street, which carries West Virginia Route 10 as the main artery between the campus/downtown area and Interstate 64, as "Hal Greer Boulevard" in 1978. The 76ers retired Greer's uniform number, No. 15, in 1976; he was the first player the 76ers honored in this way. Marshall's men's basketball team retired Greer's No. 16. Marshall University inducted Greer into its Athletics Hall of Fame for his career in basketball and baseball in 1985.
In 1982, Greer was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame along with Slater Martin, Frank Ramsey, Willis Reed, coach Clarence Gaines, and contributor Alva Duer. Greer is recognized as one of the first African-American athletes enshrined in a major sports hall of fame from West Virginia. He was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996. The 76ers installed a statue of Greer at their training complex in 2017.
Greer and his wife, Mayme, had a son and two daughters. Greer died on April 14, 2018, following a brief illness. The 76ers announced his death on April 16. They honored Greer prior to Game 2 of the 2018 NBA Playoffs vs the Miami Heat. For the remainder of the playoffs, the Sixers wore a black armband on the sleeve of their jersey with a small patch with the number 15.