- Frank Ramsey (basketball)
infobox NBA Player
name = Frank Ramsey
position = Guard-Forward
height_ft = 6 | height_in = 3
weight_lbs = 190
nationality = USA
birth_date=birth date and age|1931|7|13
college = Kentucky
draft = 1953 - 1st round (5th pick) by the
career_start = 1954
career_end = 1964
Boston Celtics(1954-55, 1956-1964)
halloffame = 1982
Frank Vernon Ramsey, Jr. (born
July 13, 1931in Corydon, Kentucky) is a former professional basketballplayer and coach. A 6-3 guard, he played his entire nine-year (1954–1964) NBAcareer with the Boston Celticsand played a major role in the early part of their dynasty, winning seven championship rings. Ramsey was also a head coach for the Kentucky Colonelsof the ABA during the 1970–1971 season.
University of Kentucky
Ramsey was a multi-sport athlete at the
University of Kentucky, playing baseballas well as basketball. Playing under legendary coach Adolph Rupp, Ramsey, as a sophomore in 1951, helped Kentucky win the NCAA Championship with a 68-58 victory over Kansas State.
In the fall of 1952, a
point shavingscandal involving four Kentucky players (one of whom was a teammate of Ramsey on Kentucky’s 1951 NCAA champions) over a four-year period forced Kentucky to forfeit its upcoming season, Ramsey’s senior year. The suspension of the season made Kentucky's basketball team, in effect, the first college sports team to get the "death penalty." Had the NCAA allowed Kentucky to play, the Wildcats, led by Ramsey, Cliff Haganand Lou Tsioropoulos, would likely have won their fourth NCAA title in six seasons.
Ramsey, Hagan and Tsioropoulos all graduated from Kentucky in 1953 and, as a result, became eligible for the
NBA Draft. All three players were selected by the Boston Celtics—Ramsey in the first round, Hagan in the third, and Tsioropoulos in the seventh. All three also returned to Kentucky for one more season despite graduating. After finishing the regular season (one in which Ramsey averaged 19.6 points per game) with a perfect 25-0 record and a #1 ranking in the Associated Press, Kentucky had been offered a bid into the NCAA Tournament. However, then-existing NCAA rules prohibited graduate students from participating in post-season play; the Wildcats declined the bid because their participation would have forced them to play without Ramsey, Hagan and Tsioropoulos, thus jeopardizing their perfect season.
Upon completion of his college career, Ramsey scored 1344 points, which at the time ranked him fourth in the school's history, and grabbed 1038 rebounds, a school record later surpassed by one of his future Kentucky Colonel players,
After playing his rookie season with the Celtics (1954–1955), Ramsey spent one year in the military before rejoining the team. In the eight seasons he played after military service, he was a member of seven championship teams (1957, 1959-1964). He was a major contributor of the Celtics dynasty, playing behind the duo of
Bob Cousyand Bill Sharmanand playing with Bill Russell, Sam Jones, K. C. Jones, Tom Heinsohnand John Havlicek. In his 623 NBA games Ramsey scored 8378 points for an average of 13.4 points per game. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1981. His #23 is retired by the Celtics.
Ramsey's best statistical season was 1958; he averaged 16.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. It was also his only post-military season in which the Celtics did not win the NBA championship; the
Bob Pettit-led St. Louis Hawks (which also featured Cliff Hagan, Ramsey's ex-college teammate) defeated them in the NBA Finals.
Brief coaching career
Ramsey was also a head coach for one season (1970–71) in the ABA with the
Kentucky Colonels, who were led two former Kentucky Wildcats - Issel, a rookie, and Louie Dampier. Ramsey was named coach 17 games into an 84-game season (which began with fellow Kentucky alum Alex Grozacoaching the first two games and Gene Rhodescoaching the next 15) and, though he had a 32-35 record, coached the Colonels into the playoffs. The Colonels lost to the Utah Stars(who were coached by Sharman, Ramsey's ex-Celtic teammate) in the ABA Finals, 4 games to 3. Joe Mullaneyreplaced Ramsey as coach the following season.
The NBA's first sixth man
Red Auerbach, is often credited throughout basketball with creating the sixth man. Though Ramsey was one of the Celtics' best players, he felt more comfortable coming off the bench and Auerbach wanted him fresh and in the lineup at the end of close games. Ramsey was the first in a series of sixth men who won championship rings with the Celtics. In the championships the Celtics won after Ramsey's retirement, they have had successful sixth men such as Havlicek, Paul Silas, Kevin McHaleand Bill Walton.
On November 15th, 2005, Ramsey's house was destroyed in a
tornadothat hit his residence in Madisonville, Kentucky. One of his plaques was found miles away from his home, and Ramsey himself was found unhurt.
* [http://www.hoophall.com/halloffamers/RamseyFrank.htm Frank Ramsey's bio on Hoophall.com]
* [http://www.bigbluehistory.net/bb/Statistics/Players/Ramsey_Frank.html Frank Ramsey's University of Kentucky page]
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