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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....

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Dehnert, Dutch (05 April 1898–20 April 1979), professional basketball player and coach, was born Henry Dehnert in New York City. Dehnert grew up on the streets of Manhattan’s West Side and attended public schools. He did not play high school basketball, however, and he never enrolled in college. Instead, around 1918 he began playing professional basketball with successful brief stints in the New York State League, Pennsylvania State League, and the New England League before joining the Original Celtics in 1919. The first Celtic team played from 1914 through 1917, but it did not emerge as the most celebrated of its time until the years from 1919 until 1922, when the team was joined by Dehnert, Johnny Beckman, Horse Haggarty, Joe Trippe, Pete Barry, Nat Holman (the only player with collegiate experience), Chris Leonard, ...

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Lapchick, Joe (12 April 1900–10 August 1970), basketball player and coach, was born Joseph Bohomiel Lapchick in Yonkers, New York, the son of Joseph B. Lapchick, a coal miner, hat finisher, trolley motorman, and policeman, and Frances Kassik. Lapchick, the eldest of seven children, was expected to help support the family. As a child he played an improvised form of street basketball, but he most often played baseball. He was a tall boy, 6′ 3″ at age twelve, and his height allowed him to begin caddying when he was only nine. He caddied for many top New York athletes, such as ...

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McCracken, Emmett Branch (09 June 1908–04 June 1970), basketball player and coach, was born in Monrovia, Indiana, the son of Charles McCracken and Ida Williams, farmers. McCracken, known by his middle name, Branch, graduated from Monrovia High School in 1926 and entered Indiana University the same year. He received a B.S. in 1930 and an M.S. in 1935, both in physical education. McCracken earned varsity letters at Indiana for three years of play (1927–1930). At that time Indiana competed in the Western Conference, a forerunner to the Big Ten, and McCracken was named to the all-conference first team each season and as the conference’s most valuable player in 1928. In his senior year, 1929–1930, he set a conference scoring record and was a Helms Foundation All-America selection. At 6′ 4″ and 195 pounds—big for that era—he was one of the first players to dominate a game by virtue of his size. In addition, he played football for Indiana, although he reputedly had never seen a game before arriving at the university. His height made him an effective end, and he lettered all three years that he played, earning all-conference honors in 1929....

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McCracken, Jack (11 June 1911–05 January 1958), basketball player and coach, was born John McCracken in Chickasha, Oklahoma. Little is known about either his parents or his early life. In 1925 McCracken entered Classen High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where he played for Henry (Hank) Iba, who would become one of basketball’s coaching legends. After a sparkling high school career, which included a second place finish in the 1929 National High School Basketball Tournament held in Chicago and 1929 High School All-American honors, McCracken accompanied Iba to Maryville, Missouri, to play for Maryville Teachers College (later Northwest Missouri State University). During McCracken’s three years at Maryville the Bobcats compiled a perfect 31–0 record in 1930–1931, and in 1932 they lost in the championship game of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) tournament in Kansas City, Missouri, to the Wichita Henry Clothiers on a last-second shot, 15–14....

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McDermott, Robert (07 January 1914–04 October 1963), basketball player and coach, was born in Whitestone, Queens, New York. He left Flushing High School after just one year and began his professional basketball career with the Brooklyn Visitations of the Metropolitan Basketball League in 1932. He and his wife, Virginia, had five children....