1956 NBA draft

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1956 NBA draft
General information
Date(s)April 30, 1956
LocationNew York City, New York
92 total selections in 14 rounds
Territorial pick(s)Tom Heinsohn, Boston Celtics
First selectionSihugo Green, Rochester Royals
← 1955
1957 →

The 1956 NBA draft was the tenth annual draft of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The draft was held on April 30, 1956, before the 1956–57 season. In this draft, eight NBA teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players. In each round, the teams select in reverse order of their win–loss record in the previous season, except for the defending champion and runner-up, who were assigned the last two pick on each round; the draft consisted of 10 rounds comprising 92 players selected.

Draft selections and draftee career notes[edit]

Sihugo Green from Duquesne University was selected first overall by the Rochester Royals. Tom Heinsohn from the College of the Holy Cross was selected before the draft as Boston Celtics' territorial pick. Heinsohn went on to win the Rookie of the Year Award in his first season.[1] Bill Russell from the University of San Francisco was selected second overall by the St. Louis Hawks and immediately traded to the Boston Celtics for Ed Macauley and Cliff Hagan.[2] Three players from this draft, Tom Heinsohn, Bill Russell, and K. C. Jones, have been inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame.[3] Elgin Baylor and Sam Jones, who were selected by the Minneapolis Lakers in the later rounds, have also been inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame, although they did not enter the league immediately after the draft. In the 1957 draft, Sam Jones was selected in the first round by the Boston Celtics, with whom he played for in his whole career.[4] In the 1958 draft, Elgin Baylor was selected first overall by the Lakers, with whom he played for in his whole career.[5]


Tom Heinsohn was selected as the Boston Celtics' territorial pick.
Round Pick Player Position Nationality Team College
T Tom Heinsohn^ F/C  United States Boston Celtics Holy Cross
1 1 Sihugo Green G/F  United States Rochester Royals Duquesne
1 2 Bill Russell^ C  United States St. Louis Hawks (traded to Boston)[a] San Francisco
1 3 Jim Paxson G/F  United States Minneapolis Lakers Dayton
1 4 Ronnie Shavlik F  United States New York Knicks NC State
1 5 Joe Holup F  United States Syracuse Nationals George Washington
1 6 Ron Sobieszczyk G  United States Fort Wayne Pistons (traded to New York)[b] DePaul
1 7 Hal Lear G  United States Philadelphia Warriors Temple
2 8 Bob Burrow F/C  United States Rochester Royals Kentucky
2 9 Willie Naulls+ F/C  United States St. Louis Hawks UCLA
2 10 Terry Rand# C  United States Minneapolis Lakers Marquette
2 11 Gary Bergen C  United States New York Knicks Utah
2 12 Paul Judson# F  United States Syracuse Nationals Illinois
2 13 K. C. Jones^ G  United States Boston Celtics San Francisco
2 14 Bob Kessler# F  United States Fort Wayne Pistons Maryland
2 15 Phil Rollins G  United States Philadelphia Warriors Louisville

Other picks[edit]

The following list includes other draft picks who have appeared in at least one NBA game.[6][7]

Round Pick Player Position Nationality Team College
3 16 Dave Piontek F/C  United States Rochester Royals Xavier (OH)
3 18 Jerry Bird F  United States Minneapolis Lakers Kentucky
3 20 Forest Able G  United States Syracuse Nationals Western Kentucky
3 22 Bill Thieben F/C  United States Fort Wayne Pistons Hofstra
4 24 Johnny McCarthy G  United States Rochester Royals Canisius
4 28 Swede Halbrook C  United States Syracuse Nationals Oregon State
4 29 Dan Swartz F  United States Boston Celtics Morehead State
5 33 Norm Stewart F  United States St. Louis Hawks Missouri
5 36 Jim Ray G  United States Syracuse Nationals Toledo
6 42 Phil Jordon F/C  United States Minneapolis Lakers Whitworth
6 43 Pat Dunn G  United States New York Knicks Utah State
7 50 John Barber F  United States Minneapolis Lakers Cal State L.A.
10 74 Bob Hopkins F/C  United States Syracuse Nationals Grambling
14 90 Elgin Baylor^ F  United States Minneapolis Lakers[c] Seattle



  • "1956 NBA Draft". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved October 28, 2009.
  • "1952–1956 NBA Drafts". The Association for Professional Basketball Research. Retrieved September 26, 2009. Cite web requires |website= (help)
  • "1956 NBA Draft". The Draft Review. Retrieved October 30, 2009. Cite web requires |website= (help)
  1. ^ "Rookie of the Year". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on March 29, 2010. Retrieved October 28, 2009. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  2. ^ a b "Bill Russell Bio". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  3. ^ "Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Inductees". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved October 28, 2009.
  4. ^ "Sam Jones Bio". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved March 9, 2010.
  5. ^ "Elgin Baylor Bio". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on 17 March 2010. Retrieved March 9, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ https://www.basketball-reference.com/draft/NBA_1956.html
  7. ^ http://basketball.realgm.com/nba/draft/past_drafts/1956
  8. ^ Janssen, Kim (October 25, 2009). "Ron Sobieszczyk, 1934-2009: Former DePaul basketball standout, played in NBA". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 28, 2009.

External links[edit]