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Allen, Phog (18 November 1885–16 September 1974), basketball coach, was born Forrest Clare Allen in Jamesport, Missouri, the son of William Perry Allen, a traveling salesman, and Alexine Perry. At an early age, Allen moved with his family to Independence, Missouri, where he grew up on the same block as future president ...

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Red Auerbach. Gelatin silver print, 1957, by David Marlin. (Auerbach, left, talks with the Celtics' All-Star point guard Bob Cousy.) National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

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Auerbach, Red (20 September 1917–28 October 2006), basketball coach, was born Arnold Jacob Aurbach in Brooklyn, New York, to Hyman Auerbach and Marie Thompson Auerbach. Hyman was a Jew from Minsk, who fled anti-Semitism in Belarus at the age of 13, arriving in New York with two brothers. Marie was a cashier in a restaurant where Hyman worked....

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Bee, Clair Francis (02 March 1896–20 May 1983), basketball coach and writer, was born near Clarksburg, West Virginia. His parents’ names and occupations are unknown. Before he was six, he suffered from tuberculosis, and a doctor advised that he spend a great deal of time outdoors. “That prescription,” Bee later said, “helped to push me into sports.” Bee and his friends often would sneak into a church gymnasium to play basketball. When he was six, his mother died of tuberculosis, after which Bee spent part of his boyhood on his uncle’s farm in Belleville, Kansas, part in Parkersburg and Grafton, West Virginia, and the rest at Massanutten Military Academy, Woodstock, Virginia. As a sophomore at Grafton High School in 1915, he wrote what may have been one of the first short stories on basketball, “Bud’s Loyalty.” In 1917 he graduated from high school....

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Blood, Ernest Artel (04 October 1872–05 February 1955), athlete and basketball coach, nicknamed "Prof", athlete and basketball coach, nicknamed “Prof,” was born in Manchester, New Hampshire, the son of farmers. Blood spent most of his youth in New Hampshire and Massachusetts but did not attend college. An all-around athlete, he excelled in basketball, football, baseball, fencing, gymnastics, and tumbling. Short of stature but muscularly developed, he could throw a sixteen-pound shot put into the air and then catch it on the nape of his neck....

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Brown, Walter A. (10 February 1905–07 September 1964), sports promoter and coach, was born in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, the son of George Victory Brown, a sports promoter and athletic director at Boston University, and Elizabeth Gallagher. Brown attended Boston Latin School and graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1926. After brief stints in the business world and an apprenticeship under his father, who was general manager of Boston Arena and president of Boston Garden, Brown turned to coaching amateur hockey. From 1931 to 1936 he toured Europe with a team of handpicked players, making history in 1933 when the team defeated Toronto 2–1 in Prague for the world’s amateur title—the first non-Canadian team to win the championship. In 1932 he founded the Boston Olympics hockey team of the Amateur Hockey Association of America; he coached the team for four years before moving to the front office in 1936. During the next decade the Olympics won five U.S. national titles....

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Carlson, Henry Clifford (04 July 1894–01 November 1964), college basketball coach and physician, was born in Pitsburg, Ohio, a mere crossroad in the west-central part of the state, the son of Harold Carlson and Martha (maiden name unknown). When he was two his family moved to Murray City, Ohio, where his father went to work in the coal mines. Tragedy and near poverty plagued the family. When Henry was five his father died in a mining accident. His mother remarried, and the family moved to Fayette City, Pennsylvania, where his stepfather also lost his life in the mines. Unlike many of his friends, Carlson completed high school, graduating in 1912. Unable to afford college, he enrolled in the Bellefonte Academy in Fayette, Pennsylvania. At Bellefonte the young redhead pursued a college preparatory curriculum for two years and excelled in three sports before entering the University of Pittsburgh on an athletic scholarship in 1914....

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Case, Everett Norris (21 June 1900–30 April 1966), basketball coach, was born in Anderson, Indiana, the son of Samuel H. Case and Emma Norris. Case played tennis at Anderson High School, but, surprisingly, he did not play basketball, either in high school or in college....

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Dave DeBusschere. Eluding the Baltimore Bullets' Wesley Unseld, New York City, 30 December 1972. Courtesy of AP Images.

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DeBusschere, Dave (16 October 1940–14 May 2003), basketball player and coach, was born David Albert DeBusschere in Detroit, Michigan. Little is recorded about DeBusschere's early life, but what is known is that his basketball career began when he was a star for Austin Catholic High School in Detroit. Basketball, however, was not the only sport in which DeBusschere excelled. He was the star pitcher on an Austin baseball team that won the city championship, and he was also a pitcher on a local team that won the national junior championship. Meanwhile, he led his high school team to the state basketball title....