Bobby Wanzer

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Bobby Wanzer
Personal information
Born (1921-06-04)June 4, 1921
Brooklyn, New York
Died January 23, 2016(2016-01-23) (aged 94)
Pittsford, New York
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Listed weight 170 lb (77 kg)
Career information
High school Benjamin Franklin
(New York City, New York)
College Seton Hall (1942–1943, 1946–1947)
BAA draft 1948 / Round: 1 / Pick: 10th overall
Selected by the Rochester Royals
Playing career 1948–1957
Position Guard
Number 9
Coaching career 1955–1987
Career history
As player:
19471957 Rochester Royals
As coach:
19551959 Rochester / Cincinnati Royals
1963–1987 St. John Fisher
Career highlights and awards

As player:

As coach:

Career BAA and NBA statistics
Points 6,924 (12.2 ppg)
Rebounds 1,979 (4.5 rpg)
Assists 1,830 (3.2 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

Robert Francis Wanzer (June 4, 1921 – January 23, 2016) was an American professional basketball player and coach. A five time All-Star and three time All-NBA Second Team selection, Wanzer played his entire professional career for the Rochester Royals of the Basketball Association of America (BAA) and National Basketball Association (NBA). He won an NBA championship with the Royals in 1951. During his final two years as a player, he served as the team's player-coach. After he retired from playing in 1957, he remained as a coach with the Royals for one season, before he became the head coach of the St. John Fisher Cardinals college basketball team in 1963. He stayed in the role with the college for 24 years until his retirement in 1987. Wanzer was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987.

College career and military service[edit]

A 6'0" guard, Wanzer played collegiately at Seton Hall University. After leading Seton Hall to a 16-2 record as a sophomore, Wanzer enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He made the All-Pacific Armed Forces All-Star basketball team, and participated in the occupation of Guam.[1]

Professional career[edit]

Wanzer was selected by the Rochester Royals in 1948.[2] Royals star Bob Davies was a Seton Hall coach and steered the star guard to the NBL contender. Initially a reserve behind Al Cervi and Red Holzman, Wanzer later teamed with Davies to form a potent backcourt for the day. The Royals were very successful from 1947–1954, and their smaller stars, like Wanzer, were considered their biggest assets. With Wanzer, Rochester won the 1950–51 National Basketball Association (NBA) title.

Wanzer played his entire career with the Royals, retiring from play after the end of the 1957 season. He was a five-time All-Star with the Royals, made the All-NBA Second Team three consecutive times and, in the 1951–52 season, Wanzer became the first player to ever shoot over 90% from the free throw line in a season.[3]

Coaching career[edit]

Wanzer served as the player-coach of the Royals for two years, and then, after the franchise moved to Cincinnati, coached for another season. His 1957–58 Cincinnati Royals team were an NBA championship contender, but injuries stopped the team short. When star Maurice Stokes was permanently injured, Wanzer moved on early the following NBA season.

In 1962, Wanzer became the first coach at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, New York. He coached there for 24 seasons and also served as the school's athletic director.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Wanzer died on January 23, 2016 at his home in Pittsford, New York.[1][5]

Pre-deceased by his wife, Nina Penrose Wanzer and son-in-law Darrel Dupra he was survived by daughters , Mary and Beth Wanzer and son, Bobby (Nancy) Wanzer; grandchildren Jeff, Zach and Whitney Dupra, Marti and Madison Wanzer; great-grandaughter Seneca Hernandez Dupra; and sister, Marilyn (Robert) Ulrich.

Legacy[edit]

He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987. He is also a member of the Seton Hall College Hall of Fame, among others.

On August 17, 2007, Wanzer was inducted into the United States Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame.[1]

BAA/NBA career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Denotes seasons in which Wanzer won an NBA championship
* Led the league

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP MPG FG% FT% RPG APG PPG
1948–49 Rochester 60 .379 .823 3.1 10.2
1949–50 Rochester 67 .414 .806 3.2 11.8
1950–51 Rochester 68 .401 .850 3.4 2.7 10.8
1951–52 Rochester 66 37.8 .425 .904* 5.0 4.0 15.7
1952–53 Rochester 70 36.8 .367 .812 5.0 3.6 14.6
1953–54 Rochester 72 35.3 .386 .734 5.4 3.5 13.3
1954–55 Rochester 72 33.0 .395 .786 5.2 3.4 13.1
1955–56 Rochester 72 27.5 .376 .719 3.8 3.1 10.4
1956–57 Rochester 21 7.6 .469 .783 1.2 0.4 3.9
Career 568 32.5 .393 .802 4.5 3.2 12.2
All-Star 5 26.2 .395 .857 3.4 3.4 9.2

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP MPG FG% FT% RPG APG PPG
1949 Rochester 4 .317 .706 2.3 9.5
1950 Rochester 2 .471 .846 2.0 13.5
1951 Rochester 14 .471 .910 5.1 4.2 12.5
1952 Rochester 6 41.5 .429 .959* 6.3 3.2 18.8
1953 Rochester 3 38.7 .378 .852 7.0 3.0 17.0
1954 Rochester 6 40.8 .405 .818 5.8 4.3 16.0
1955 Rochester 3 33.3 .457 .917 7.0 2.7 18.0
Career 38 39.4 .425 .880 5.8 3.5 14.6

References[edit]

External links[edit]