Vintage Basketball Autographs

Hoop Stars of the Past -- 1920s thru 1960s

Warren Ajax  (1921-2004)

Guard/Forward—(Minnesota) Great Lakes Naval Training Center Bluejackets 1944-45, Minneapolis Lakers (NBL) 1947-48   [3 games, 0.3 avg (NBL)]



Warren Ajax autographed this 1945 Jack Sords cartoon. 

Ernie Beck (1931-    )

Guard—(Pennsylvania) Philadelphia Warriors 1953-60, St. Louis Hawks 1960-61   [All-American 1953; 6.3 avg]

The transition to the Warriors and the pros was not easy for me.
    Ernie Beck


Ernie Beck autographed this 1953 Tom Paprocki cartoon.  I also have a signed 1952 Pap cartoon.

Gene Berce  (1926-  )

Guard—(Cornell/Marquette) Oshkosh All-Stars (NBL) 1948-49, Tri-Cities Blackhawks (NBA) 1949-50, St. Paul Lights (NPBL) 1950-51, Kansas City Hi-Spots (NPBL) 1950-51  [4.9 avg. (NBL), 3.3 avg. (NBA)]



Lou Boudreau  (1917-2001)

Guard/Forward—(Illinois) Hammond Ciesar All-Americans (NBL) 1938-39    [8.2 avg.; played major league baseball 1938-52, major league manager 1942-50,1952-57,1960]

We never shot one-handed unless we drove to the basket. We always used two hands.
    Lou Boudreau



Lou Boudreau autographed this 1937 Art Krenz cartoon.

See his grave in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Frankfort, Illinois

Austin Carr (1948-     )

Guard—(Notre Dame) Cleveland Cavaliers 1971-80, Dallas Mavericks 1980, Washington Bullets 1980-81 [College Basketball Hall of Fame 2007, 15.4 avg]



 I sent Austin Carr an old sports cartoon and 3x5 card to sign in 2010. He must have liked the cartoon so much that he kept it and only returned the 3x5 card. For six years, the 3x5 autograph was a mystery to me. I couldn't decipher the signature until I asked a fellow collector, Matt Schwade, to take a look at it. In late 2016, he solved the mystery: the autograph was Austin Carr's. Big thanks to Matt.


Ernie Calverly  (1924-2003)

Guard—(Rhode Island State) Providence Steamrollers (BAA) 1946-49    [NIT MVP 1946; 11.9 avg., #1 Assists 1947]

Most of the players were making $3,500 or $4,000. Teachers at the time were making $1,800. I was making $8,200. I was the rich kid on the block.
    Ernie Calverly,
    on his 1946-47 earnings

Ernie Calverly autographed this 1944 Sam Davis cartoon.

Calverly led the nation in scoring in 1943-44, averaging 26.7 points per game, and hit a half-court buzzer-beater in the 1946 NIT to propel the Rams over Bowling Green, eventually losing in the finals to Kentucky. As coach, Calverly led the Rams from 1958-68, compiling a 139-114 record and two NCAA Tournament appearances in 1961 and 1968, and was inducted into the URI and New England sports halls of fame.

Rod Caudill (1923-1994)

Guard/Forward—(Ohio State)



Rod Caudill autographed this 1944 Jack Sords cartoon.

In his letter, written only three years before his death, Caudill, a psychiatrist, wrote:  "Omigosh what you resurrected! And isn't it a small world? Is this autograph hunting a fun or commercial or both endeavor? Or perhaps a hidden agenda sleuthing? Or part of the Utah penchant for research? Oh well I could go on & on.  But you reminded me of some mighty pleasant experiences. Thanks for the interest."  Only a psychiatrist could make more out of a simple autograph request than was actually intended.  Hidden agenda--my word!

Bobby "Cookie" Cook  (1923-2004)

Guard—(Wisconsin) Sheboygan Redskins 1948-49 (NBL)/1949-50 (NBA)/ 1950-51 (NPBL)  [5'10", 11.5 avg. (NBA), 6.9 avg. (NBL), 12.6 (NPBL)]



Bobby Cook autographed this 1948 Jack Sords cartoon.

He graduated from Harvard High School in Harvard, Illinois, in 1941. He then served in the U.S. Navy for three years and then went to the University of Wisconsin, where he graduated in 1948.  He played forward and was Wisconsin's leading scorer on the 1947 basketball team that won the Big Ten championship and placed third in Eastern Regional play. He was named All Big Ten as a junior and senior and led the Big Ten in scoring in 1947 with a 15.6 point average. He established a Big Ten record for field goal percentage (.727) in a game by hitting 8-11 shots versus Northwestern in 1948. He was a two-time (1946 and 1948) winner of the team most valuable player honors. He also played third base on Wisconsin's 1946 league co-championship team.

He is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Johnny Cox (1936-    )

Guard—(Kentucky) Chicago Zephyrs 1962-63 [7.8 avg]



Johnny Cox autographed this 1958 Tom Paprocki cartoon in December 2010.

George Dempsey (1929-    )

Guard—(King's College) Philadelphia Warriors 1954-58, Syracuse Nationals 1958-59  [4.6 avg.]



I traded a John "Brooms" Abramovich 3x5 autograph to an Arkansas collector in November 2010 for this George Dempsey 3x5 and a Red Rocha 3x5.

Dick Dickey  (1926-2006)

Guard—(DePauw 1945/St. Mary's Pre-Flight 1946/North Carolina State 1947-50) Anderson Packers (NPBL) 1950-51, Boston Celtics 1951-52   [All-American 1948-50; 45 games, 2.8 avg. (NBA)]

When Dick played for the Celtics he wasn't playing much and asked to be traded. But, the way he told it, they didn't want to trade him because he was one of the few who could guard Bob Cousy.
    John Bragg


Dick Dickey autographed this 1950 Tom Paprocki cartoon.

He would practice an innovative one-handed jump shot, which later made him famous at N.C. State. Most players in the 1940s were using a two-hand set shot.  After high school, Dickey entered the Navy and grew five inches during his two years of military service. While playing for a Navy basketball team, Dickey attracted the attention of Everett Case, one-time Anderson High School coach who had just taken the N.C. State job.  Dickey was part of a 10-player all-Indiana recruiting class called the "Hoosier Hotshots" and included Sloan and Vic Bubas.  Dickey was a three-year starter at Pendleton before helping to make basketball history as a key player in the post-war program Indiana native Everett Case built primarily with Hoosier players at North Carolina State. Dickey was All-Southern Conference (there wasn't an Atlantic Coast Conference yet) all four of his Wolfpack years, scoring 1,644 points. The school retired his number in 1999.

He is buried in Gardens of Memory, Huntington, Indiana

Billy Evans  (1932-    )

Guard—(Kentucky) [Olympic Games 1956—Gold Medal; Pan Am Games 1956—Gold Medal]




Bill Evans autographed this 1965 Alan Maver cartoon in December 2010.

Wes Fesler  (1908-1989)

Guard—(Ohio State) [All-American 1931]

Fesler was Ohio State’’s second three-time All-American, winning first-team recogniton at end in 1928, ’’29 and ’’30. Fesler, who also played fullback for the Buckeyes, was team captain as a senior. He also was the Ohio State and the Big Ten MVP in 1930.  Fesler, a superb all-around athlete, earned nine letters, three each in football, basketball and baseball. In basketball, he won All-Big Ten honors in 1931. In baseball, he spent time in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. After graduating, Fesler served one year as an assistant on the OSU staff and then was head football coach at Princeton and Penn. In 1947, he returned to his alma mater as head coach and spent four years, compiling a 21-13-3 record and winning the 1949 Big Ten Championship and the 1950 Rose Bowl. 


Dick Garmaker  (1932-  )

Guard—(Minnesota) Minneapolis Lakes 1955-60, New York Knicks 1960-61   [All-American 1955; 13.3 avg.]

George Mikan's last year with the Minneapolis Lakers was my first year. Every year that I played, I played against Cousy, and Sharman, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain--and Elgin Baylor was on our team.

Dick Garmaker



 Dick Garmaker autographed this 1955 Murray Olderman cartoon and 3x5 card in November 2015. He also sent me a signed 2011 Minnesota jersey retirement basketball card.

John "Dutch" Garfinkel  (1918-2013)

Guard—(St. John's) Baltimore Clippers (ABL) 1940-41, Trenton Tigers (ABL) 1941-42, Philadelphia Sphas (ABL) 1944-45, Rochester Royals (NBL) 1945-46, Boston Celtics 1946-49   [1.1 avg. (NBL), 5.2 avg. (NBA)]

They may have called me Dutch because I didn’t look Jewish, had a kind of German-looking face.  But probably the real reason was that as a kid when I’d climb over the fence to play ball in the school yard, three-on-three, I’d play with my back to the basket to pass off to teammates cutting by me, just like Dutch Dehnert used to do for the Original Celtics.  He invented that style and they called it “playing Dutch,” and so they called me “Dutch,” too.
    Dutch Garfinkel



Dick Groat  (1930-  )

Guard—(Duke) Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons 1952-53   [All-American 1951-52; 11.9 avg.]

There's no question about it, I was a much, much better basketball player [than baseball player]. Baseball was hard work for me.  I did not have great speed. I did not have a great arm, nor did I have great power.  Basketball was my best sport. It came easy for me. . . . I can honestly say I learned more about basketball from Red [Auerbach] in three months than from all the other coaches I ever played for or worked with at any level.  He made me aware of things about my game I hadn’t ever thought about.  When I played in the NBA, I could still hear his voice in my heat at times telling me to do something.
    Dick Groat


Richie Guerin (1932-    )

Guard—(Iona) Quantico Marines (AAU) 1955, New York Knicks 1956-63, St. Louis Hawks 1963-67, Atlanta Hawks 1968-70  [17.3 avg, Auerbach Trophy 1968]

The jump shot is more glamorous, I suppose, but the two-hander had an advantage in that late in the game the motion of the jump shot takes its toll on the body. There's no real exertion to the two-hander.  That was the swan song of the two-hander.  I'm sorry to see it go. It added something, something very nice to the game.
    Richie Guerin, the last player in the NBA
    to shoot the two-handed set on 19 Apr. 1970


Don Hennon (1938-    )

Guard—(Pittsburgh) 1956-59 [All-American 1958]



 Don Hennon autographed this 1959 Tom Paprocki cartoon for me in 2015.


Cecil Hankins  (1922-2002)

Guard—(Oklahoma A&M) St. Louis Bombers 1946-47, Boston Celtics 1947-48, Sheboygan Redskins (NBL) 1948   [4.9 avg (NBA), 1.0 avg (NBL)]

Hankins was the catalyst in '45 and we would never have won it without him.
    Bob Kurland



Cecil Hankins autographed this 1946 Tom Paprocki cartoon.

Hankins was the second-leading scorer on OSU's first NCAA championship basketball team. He averaged 13.4 points for the 1945 title squad and scored 15 in a championship game victory over New York University.  Hankins also ran track and was a contributor on OSU football teams that earned invitations to the 1945 Cotton Bowl and 1946 Sugar Bowl. He was the Cowboys' leading receiver in 1944 and played a huge role in a 46-40 victory over Tulsa that season, running four times for 45 yards and catching five passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns.

See his grave in Woodland Memorial Park Cemetery, Sand Springs, Oklahoma. 

Paul Judson  (1934-    )

Guard—(Illinois) 1954-56


Paul Judson autographed this 1956 Tom Paprocki cartoon in January 2011.

Roger Kaiser (1939-     )

Guard—(Georgia Tech) Washington/New York Tapers (ABL) 1962-63, Philadelphia Tapers 1963-64


Roger Kaiser autographed this 1961 Murray Olderman cartoon in December 2015.

Hot Rod Hundley (1934-2015)

Guard/Forward—(West Virginia) Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers 1957-63; Broadcaster—Utah Jazz 1974-2009  [All-American 1956-57, #1 Pick NBA Draft, 8.4 avg. (NBA), Curt Gowdy Media Award 2003]



Hot Rod Hundley autographed this 1957 Alan Maver cartoon in February 2010.  I also have two different signed 1956 Tom Paprocki cartoons.

Watch a video clip of Hundley entering the West Virginia University arena for the retiring of his jersey.  Watch a video clip of Hundley accepting the retirement of his West Virginia University jersey #33.  Watch a video clip of Hot Rod hitting a hook shot after his jersey is retired at WVU; the crowd erupts.  Watch a video clip of Hot Rod and other great players recalling the 1962 L.A. vs. Boston NBA finals; Hot Rod answers Curt Gowdy's question about his dribbling skills.

Tommy Kearns  (1936-    )

Guard—(North Carolina) Syracuse Nationals 1958-59



Tommy Kearns autographed this 1957 Tom Paprocki cartoon in April 2010.

Weldon Kern (1923-2014)

Guard/Forward—(Oklahoma A&M) Oklahoma City Drillers (PBLA) 1947-48 [8.2 avg]


This Paul Hunt cartoon is one of several cartoons autographed for me by Weldon Kern. 

George King (1928-2006)

Guard—(Morris Harvey) Syracuse Nationals 1951-56, Cincinnati Royals 1957-58   [10.3 avg]

George is a good friend and was a great boss.  He let you do your thing, and if you were out of line, he would tell you right away. He didn't mince words, but he let you do your job.
    Gene Keady


George King autographed this 1952 Tom Paprocki cartoon.

He led the nation in scoring for two seasons at Morris Harvey, from which he graduated in 1950. King played for Syracuse and Cincinnati in the NBA, and then coached at WVU and Purdue. King coached the Boilermakers from 1965-72, compiling a 109-64 record, including the 1969 Big Ten championship.  King was appointed athletic director in 1971, heading the department for 21 years before retiring in 1992.  He once chaired the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and headed several postseason bowl committees. 

Jack Landon

Guard—(Oklahoma) Tulsa Ranchers (PBLA) [6.0 avg]

York Larese (1938-2016)

Guard—(North Carolina) Philadelphia Warriors 1961-62   [5.1 avg]

He was a hardhead — not a guy who took instructions well.
    Tom Meschery


This Tom Paprocki cartoon appeared in newspapers in February 1961.

York Larese was one of the few players to be named All-ACC every year he was eligible, sweeping those honors in 1959, 1960 and 1961 in the final three years of the legendary Frank McGuire's coaching tenure at Carolina. He was also named second-team All-America as a senior. A 6-4 guard from New York City, Larese was a great shooter capable of scoring from anywhere on the court. He was especially deadly from the free throw line, leading the ACC in foul shooting in 1960 with a percentage of 86.8. That stood as the Carolina record for 25 years until it was broken by Steve Hale in 1985. Larese had an unusual free throw form, simply shooting the ball as quickly as an official handed it to him. Sometimes, the official couldn't even step back before the ball was in the air. 

Ray Lumpp  (1923-2015)

Guard—(New York University) Indianapolis Jets 1948-49, New York Knickerbockers 1949-52, Baltimore Bullets 1952-53   [Olympic Games 1948—Gold Medal; 8.2 avg]

We beat France in the final and it was like 48-10 at halftime and we were asked by Olympic officials not to embarrass the French team.
    Ray Lumpp


Ray Lumpp, who starred in basketball for NYU and the 1948 gold medal U.S. Olympic team, received the President's Alumni Achievement Award of NYU. As captain of the 1947-48 NYU team, Lumpp set a single-season scoring record of 377 points, then scored 38 at the Olympics in London.

Gale McArthur  (1929-    )

Guard—(Oklahoma A&M 1948-51) [Second Team All American 1951]



Gale McArthur autographed this 1951 Tom Paprocki cartoon in June 2011.

Joel Mason  (1912-1995)

Guard—(Western Michigan/Texas) Sheboygan Red Skins (NBL) 1943; Coach—Detroit Gems (NBL) 1947 [1 game, 0.0 avg.; played in NFL 1939-42,1945; Wayne State basketball coach 1948-66]


Bill Melchionni  (1944-    )

 Guard—(Villanova) Philadelphia 76ers 1966-68, New York Nets 1969-76  [NBA 4.8 avg, ABA 10.6 avg]


Bill Melchionni autographed this 1971 Alan Maver cartoon in December 2010.

Gene "Squeaky" Melchiorre  (1927-    )

Guard—(Bradley) 1947-51  [All-American 1951, 1st overall pick in the 1951 NBA draft, but banned from the NBA for life for his involvement in a point-shaving scandal]

It’s not disappointing at all when I look back on it. I could understand why I couldn’t play.

     Gene Melchiorre



Gene Melchiorre autographed this 1951 Tom Paprocki cartoon in December 2009.

Harold "Hack" Miller (1915-1998)



Hack Miller autographed this 1935 Ev Thorpe cartoon. I took the photo of him in 1990 at a Riverton, Utah, 4th of July parade.  I asked him to be the grand marshal.

Johnny O'Brien (1930-    )

Guard—(Seattle) [All-American 1953; played major league baseball 1953,1955-59]

If a guy face-guarded me, Ed [Johnny’s twin brother] would lob the ball up near the rim and I'd just go get it. I'd make a fake and get open, and Ed would get me the ball, and so it evolved.  I was perfectly aware that without Ed there, I wouldn't have been able to accomplish a lot of what I did.
    Johnny O'Brien



This 1952 Alan Maver cartoon is one of two different O'Brien-signed cartoons in my collection.

Though only 5 feet 9, Johnny O'Brien became the first college player to score 1,000 points in a season when he tallied 1,051 in 1951-52. In 1953, he averaged more than 28 points a game in winning the national scoring title and becoming a consensus All-American.  He also became the first NCAA player to score 3,000 for his career (3,302).  He had amazing quickness. Yet he was no one-man show. His twin brother, Eddie O’Brien, fed Johnny the ball.  The O'Briens never made it to the NBA. They were drafted by the old Milwaukee Hawks, but turned to pro baseball instead, as infielders and part-time pitchers. Each accepted a $25,000 signing bonus from the Pittsburgh Pirates and went straight to the majors, becoming the first set of twins to play together on the same big- league team, if not appear together on the same trading card. 

Jim Phelan  (1929-    )

Guard—(La Salle) Philadelphia Warriors 1953-54  [4g, 1.5 avg; CoachMount St. Mary's University 1954-2003; National Coach of the Year 1962; National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame 2008; holds NCAA record of most games coached, 1,354 in career]



Jim Phelan autographed this 1950 Tom Paprocki cartoon in January 2011, commenting, "I don't quite look the same after 60 years." 

Kevin C. O'Shea  (1925-2003)

Guard—(Notre Dame) Minneapolis Lakers 1950-51, Milwaukee Hawks 1951, Baltimore Bullets 1951-53, Wilkes-Barre Barons (ABL) 1952-53; Coach—San Francisco Saints (ABL) 1961  [All-American 1949-50; 5.2 avg. (NBA), 11.4 avg. (ABL)]

I wasn’t gung-ho about the pros because, when you live in San Francisco, air travel is expensive.  I was the No. 1 draft choice for the Lakers and offered $15,000, but flying back and forth took $1,500 of that.  You couldn’t put away any money that way, and by the same token I had two bad knees to start with, so I was faking it from the day I started.  But I made enough money to make a down payment on a home at the right time.
    Kevin O’Shea


Kevin O'Shea autographed this 1950 Alan Maver cartoon.

Ossie Schectman  (1919-2013)

Guard—(Long Island) Philadelphia Sphas (ABL) 1941-46, Paterson Crescents (ABL) 1947-49; New York Knickerbockers 1946-47    [Converse All-American 1941; #1 Scoring ABL 1943-44, 54 games, 8.1 avg. (NBA)]

It was a fast break, I remember. Three of us were coming down. I had the center position. The ball was given back to me and it was a two-hand, underhanded layup shot.
    Ossie Schectman,
    on scoring the first basket
    in NBA history on 1 November 1946


On this Tom Paprocki cartoon, Shechtman complimented me:  "Truly one of the greatest basketball fans I have ever come across."

Sol "Butch" Schwartz  (19

Guard—(Long Island) Philadelphia Sphas (ABL) 1941-48, Paterson Crescents (ABL) 1948-49, Trenton Tigers (ABL) 1949-50, Allentown/Carbondale Aces (ABL) 1950-51

Our wives knew each other. We went out for dinner. We went out for breakfast.
    Sol Schwartz


I don't know why I didn't have Schechtman and Schwartz both sign the same cartoon; I did that on many others.  Schwartz thanked me "for the memories."

Frank Selvy  (1932-  )

Guard/Forward—(Furman) Baltimore Bullets 1954, Milwaukee Hawks 1955, St. Louis Hawks 1955-57, Minneapolis Lakers 1958,1960, New York Knickerbockers 1958-59, Syracuse Nationals 1959, Los Angeles Lakers 1960-64  [#1 Scoring NCAA 1953-54, All-American 1954; 10.8 avg]

All the other ones had gone in.  I figured that one [the 100th point] would, too.  People remember that and they don't remember anything else. 
    Frank Selvy,
    on being the only man to score
    100 points in an NCAA Division I game



See video clip of Frank Selvy in the 1954 College All Star game. See video clip of Selvy in 1954 College All Americans against the Harlem Globetrotters.

Selvy scored 100 points against Newberry on Feb. 13, 1954. Contested in front of over 4,000 spectators, including Selvy's mother, who along with dozens of friends and family members traveled from Corbin, Ky., to watch her son play for the first time as a collegian, the "Corbin Comet" etched his name into basketball history with a record setting performance that has since been matched by only one other player, the great Wilt Chamberlain as a member of the NBA's Philadelphia Warriors. Selvy's milestone against Newberry, completed with an estimated 43-foot shot as time expired, highlighted a senior season that saw him earn consensus All-America and United Press National Player-of-the-Year honors. Furman finshed the year 20-9 with wins over Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Clemson, Manhattan, and Georgia Tech, and many others.  Selected No. 1 in the 1954 NBA Draft by the Baltimore Bullets, Selvy played nine years of professional ball, including the last five with the Los Angeles Lakers. A two-time NBA All-Star, he averaged 10.8 ppg in his career. 

Gene Shue  (1931-   )

Guard—(Maryland) Philadelphia Warriors 1954, New York Knicks 1954-56, 1962-63, Fort Wayne/Detroit Pistons 1956-62, Baltimore Bullets 1963-64; Coach—Baltimore Bullets 1966-73, Philadelphia 76ers 1973-77, San Diego Clippers 1978-80, Washington Bullets 1980-86, Los Angeles Clippers 1987-89   [14.4 avg., All Star 1958-62, Coach of the Year 1969, 1982]

Shue played me better than anyone.

Bill Sharman


Gene Shue autographed this 1961 Alan Maver cartoon in September 2012.

Larry “Telstar” Siegfried (1939-2010)

Guard—(Ohio State) Boston Celtics 1963-70, San Diego Rockets 1970-71, Atlanta Hawks 1971-72   [10.8 avg.]

I was an energetic type of person.  And I also loved my cartoons back then. In the morning, I'd get up early and flip on the television to catch the cartoons.  But Siegfried would get up, walk over to the TV, flip it off, and the only thing he would say is “bedtime.”   I couldn't make a single noise in the morning.  I couldn't even [go to the bathroom] without making too much noise.
    Calvin Murphy

See video clip showing Larry Siegfried (#20) in March 1, 1965 eastern division title game in which Celtics defeat San Francisco Warriors.  He was buried in Shelby-Oakland Cemetery, Shelby, Ohio.

Meyer "Whitey" Skoog  (1926-   )

Guard—(Minnesota) Minneapolis Lakers 1951-57   [8.2 avg]

He was the first guy to shoot the jumper on a regular basis here.  He could hit that thing from all over the court.  We had some good players at that spot before Whitey, but he was the best — a shooter and an athlete. I remember  Johnny Kundla was mad at him during a playoff series with the Knicks and didn't want to take him to New York. [General manager] Max Winter wound up saying, “Take him.”  The games were played in the 69th Street Armory. Skoog went wild, hitting those jumpers. The New York writers were all asking, “Who's this Skoo-j?”
    Sid Hartman


Whitey Skoog autographed this 1950 Tom Paprocki cartoon.

Rod Thorn (1941-    )

Guard—(West Virginia) Baltimore Bullets 1963-64, Detroit Pistons 1964-65, St. Louis Hawks 1965-67, Seattle Supersonics 1967-71   [10.8 avg]

In our house it was school and sports, school first and then sports, and that was about it  Dad was a disciplinarian, but our lives were idyllic. There were no drugs, no ghettos, no problems and a lot of fun.  My feeling when I got out of high school was that I would be a professional baseball player.  I thought that was my best sport. And if I wasn't going to play baseball I figured I would be a doctor. Well, two years into West Virginia I thought I still might be a baseball player, but I knew I wasn't going to be a doctor.  My final choice came down to West Virginia and Duke.  I didn't feel like I had to go to West Virginia.  But the program was at the top and I liked Coach Schaus very much and he recruited me.  There was a lot of talk about me following Jerry West.  I even heard it in high school. But most of the pressure I felt I put on myself. Like a normal kid, I heard all the talk about being West Virginia's next All-American. I made All- American, but I wasn't a Jerry West. He was one of those special players that comes along and I was not in that category.
    Rod Thorn



Rod Thorn autographed this 1963 Tom Paprocki cartoon.

Bill Tosheff  (1926-2011)

Guard—(Indiana) Indianapolis Olympians 1951-53, Milwaukee Hawks 1953-54 [NBA Rookie of the Year 1952, 9.2 avg, 203 games, 1859 pts.]

After my career in Indiana, I was drafted into the NBA by the Indianapolis Olympians for the ‘51-52 season.  The Olympians were then owned by the Kentucky Five — Ralph Beard, Alex Groza, Cliff Barker, Joe Holland and Wah Wah Jones.  They had come into the league with their own franchise in 1949.  Groza was the Rookie of the Year that year.  I was also recruited by the Phillips Oilers and the Goodyear Wingfoots of the industrial league, but I didn’t care to get into industry. I wanted to play pro ball.  I took the first contract from Indianapolis over to coach Her Schaefer, an All-American from Indiana and on the 1940 national championship team.  I said, “Herm, what do you think of this contract?”  He said, “Gosh, it’s a damn good contract.”  It was for $4,500.  My first year I became the co-Rookie of the Year, along with BYU’s Mel Hutchins of the Tri-Cities Blackhawks.
    Bill Tosheff


After signing his autograph, Tosheff printed on the bottom of this January 1952 Paprocki cartoon, "Not to be used for commercial purposes." In his initialed note he wrote:  "Interesting how the past is surfacing. This photo was given to me in person by Pap in 1952 in Madison Square Garden after a N.Y. Knick game. It was his original drawing." 

Herschell Turner (1938-    )

Guard—(Nebraska) Pittsburgh Pipers (ABA) 1967-68, Anaheim Amigos (ABA) 1967-68  [All-American 1959; ABA 3.9 avg.; Harlem Globetrotters]



Herschell Turner autographed this 1958 Tom Paprocki cartoon in January 2010.

Hal Uplinger  (1929-2011)

Guard—(Long Island University) Baltimore Bullets 1953-54  [4.1 avg]


Hal Uplinger autographed this 1951 Tom Paprocki cartoon in January 2011, only ten days before his passing (see Guestbook section to read note from Hal's daughter).

Murray Wier  (1926-2016)

Guard—(Iowa) Waterloo Hawks (NPBL) 1950-51  [All-American 1948, #1 Scoring NCAA 1948]

Two guys I loved on that team [Waterloo Hawks] were both 5-8 guards, Buckshot O’Brien and Murray Wier.
    Jack Smiley