Here is my list for the best basketball players from New York City in the 60’s. Let’s take a look at it
- Lew Alcindor – Power Memorial, UCLA, & NBA: Alcindor has to go down the best of all time when it comes to New York City hoops. His 1965 Power Memorial team has to go down the best team of all time nationwide. He went to UCLA and play for the late great John Wooden and capture three straight national championships. Later became Kareem Abdul Jabaar. During his NBA career he won six NBA championships.
- Nate “Tiny” Archibald – Clinton, Arizona Western JC, UTEP, & NBA: Tiny played high school basketball for only one-and-a-half seasons, and was cut from the varsity squad as a sophomore. He turn out to be an All City player in 1966, however he struggled in the classroom. He went to Arizona Western for a year and transferred to University of Texas El Paso and play for Hall of Fame coach Don Haskins. Archibald was selected by the Cincinnati Royals as the 19th pick in the 1970 NBA Draft. Played for the Kansas City Kings from 1970 to 1976. Then played with the New York Nets and Buffalo Braves for one season. Then help guide the Boston Celtics for three seasons and help them guide to an 1981 NBA Championship.
- Connie Hawkins – Boys High, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters, & NBA: Hawkins was All-City first team as a as Boys went undefeated and won the PSAL title in 1959 and 1960. Hawkins sign with Iowa and never played due to a point shaving scandal. He was selected by the Pittsburgh Rens in the ABL and was league MVP. Then the league defunct and sign with the Harlem Globetrotters and played four seasons. Then played with the Pittsburgh Pipers in the ABA in the 1967-68 season in which he was league’s leading scorer, and MVP. He led them to the ABA championship that year. After spending two years he got his settlement from his gambling, the Phoenix Suns sign him and play four seasons. He was elected in the basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.
- Billy Cunningham – Erasmus Hall HS, North Carolina, ABA & NBA: Known as the Kangaroo Kid was first team All City in 1961 and was name Brooklyn MVP. Became a standout at North Carolina and was ACC player of the year in 1965. Then went on and join the Carolina Cougars of the ABA. Then return to 76ers and finish his playing career in 1976. Then became the Head Coach of the Sixers for 8 seasons in which he coach them to the 1983 NBA Championship.
- Roger Brown – Wingate HS, ABA & NBA: Brown was a HS star at Wingate in Brooklyn and signed to play with Dayton. Never played college ball due to a point shaving scandal along with Connie Hawkins. Signed to play with the Indiana Pacers of the ABA. Brown play eight years (1967–1975) in the ABA with the Pacers, Memphis Sounds, and Utah Stars. He scored 10,498 points, appeared in four All-Star games, and won three Championships. The NBA later reinstated Brown but he never played in the league. Brown was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.
- Charlie Scott – Stuyvesant and Laurinburg Institute (NC), North Carolina, ABA & NBA: Scott was a legend at the Rucker in Harlem. Spend one year at Stuyvesant and transfer to Laurinburg Institute. He was valedictorian of his high school senior class. He became the first black scholar athlete at North Carolina. Scott averaged 22.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game at UNC. He was a two-time All-American and led the Tarheels to the 1968 and 1969 final four. He was part of the 1968 USA Basketball Olympic Gold Medal Team. Spend ten years in the NBA and was a three time NBA All Star with the Suns, Celtics, Lakers, and Nuggets.
- Vaughn Harper – Boys HS, & Syracuse: Harper led Boys High to the PSAL City championship in 1963. The 6-foot-4 forward possessed incredible jumping ability, earning him the nickname “Kangaroo Kid.” Then he went on to play at Syracuse and was a three year starter. He finished his Syracuse career with 1,070 points in just three varsity seasons. His rebounding average of 14.3 per game in 1967 still ranks sixth all-time at SU. He became a disc jockey at WBLS in 1976 and later joined with on-air host Champaine on the Quiet Storm show.
- Dean Meminger – Rice, Marquette, NBA: He was call “Dean The Dream” and was All City at Rice High School and became a star on the playgrounds on 135th Street. He carried Marquette to the 1970 NIT Championship at Madison Square Garden. He play a role coming off the bench to help the New York Knicks win the NBA Championship.
- Mel “Killer” Davis – Boys, St Johns, & NBA: Davis became a star at Boys High leading them to two PSAL City Championships. Then he played at St John’s University where he still ranks seventh on the school’s all-time rebounding list with 845. Then he played with New York Knicks for three seasons and a year with the New York Nets. Then finish his career overseas.
- Kevin Joyce – Molly, South Carolina, & ABA: Kevin Joyce played for the legendary Jack Curran at Molloy HS. He led Molloy to the CHSAA City Championship in 1969. Then he went on to South Carolina and was part of the 1972 USA Olympic Basketball team. He was drafted by the Golden State Warriors in 1973. Spend three seasons playing in the ABA.
Back in these days there was talent not only in high schools, also on the playgrounds where these players made their name. If I miss any please let me know.