Steve Nisenson

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Steve H. Nisenson is an American former basketball player, who played the guard position.[1][2]

He set Hofstra University's all-time scoring record in basketball, which stood for 43 years.[3] He also set the all-time national college season free-throw record in 1964, becoming the first college player to have a free throw percentage of better than .900.

Early life[edit]

Nisenson is Jewish, and was from Livingston, New Jersey where he played basketball for Livingston High School.[2][4][5][6] He earned a bachelor's degree in business management at Hofstra, and a master's degree in guidance and counseling at Long Island University.[7]

Basketball career[edit]

College career[edit]

Nisenson played basketball for Hofstra University from 1962–65, where he was an All-American in both 1963 and 1964, and was the team's ball-handler and playmaker.[3][8][9] He was also elected to the Eastern College Athletic Conference small college All-East team in 1963, 1964, and 1965.[2][10] In 1964, he was a unanimous selection as the most valuable basketball player in the Middle Atlantic Conference northern college division.[11]

He set the school's career scoring record with 2,222 points, and it was not broken until 2008.[4][7][12] At the time that he set the record, there were only three years of eligibility, and there were not any 3-point shots.[12][13] The record stood for 43 years.[3]

His 1963–64 season scoring average of 27.7 points per game is the second-highest total in Hofstra history. His career average of 26.8 points per game is also the second-highest in school history.[3][14]

He set the all-time national college free-throw record in 1964, becoming the first college player to have a free-throw percentage of better than .900.[15] In 1963–64 he had a .913 free throw percentage, which is still a Hofstra single-season record.[3][5][14] Nisenson also holds the Hofstra single-season record for free throws made (230), in the same season.[14] His career free throw percentage (.879) is the second-best all-time in Division II history.[14]

After college[edit]

He played on the United States basketball team at the 1965 Maccabiah Games in Israel, along with Tal Brody and Ron Watts.[1]

Nisenson was drafted by the New York Knicks with the 37th pick overall, in the fifth round of the 1965 NBA draft.[1][7][16] He was at the team's training camp, but did not make the team.[7]

He turned down an offer to play with the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA.[7] Instead, he chose to coach basketball at Hofstra.[7]

Nisenson later was the director of admissions at C.W. Post for 16 years.[7][14][17]


In 2002, Nisenson was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in New York.[7]

He was inducted into the Hofstra Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006.[3] Hofstra also retired his jersey number (13), during the 2008–09 season.[14][18][19]


  1. ^ a b c "Prestige Challenge". Prescott Evening Courier. August 10, 1965. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "Former Hofstra Star has Yen to Coach" (PDF). The Daily Register. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f 2009-10 Hofstra Men's Basketball Media Guide
  4. ^ a b Bob Wechsler. Day by day in Jewish sports history. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Bernard Postal; Jesse Silver; Roy Silver (1965). Encyclopedia of Jews in sports. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  6. ^ Special to The New York Times (February 5, 1965). "Nisenson of Hofstra Hits 2,009 Points, But L.I.U. Is Victor". Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Sideratos, Steven D. (March 30, 2002). "Jewish Hall on Target Tabbing Nisenson". Newsday. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  8. ^ National Collegiate Athletic Association (1991). NCAA basketball. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  9. ^ Diane Ketcham (March 13, 1988). "LONG ISLAND JOURNAL". Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Four Repeaters on ECAC Team". Reading Eagle. March 15, 1965. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Nisenson of Hofstra Leads All-Star Squad". New York Times. July 5, 1964. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b Ogle, Mike (December 16, 2007). "Top Scorer at Hofstra Is Motivated by Laziness". Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  13. ^ Mike Candel (March 3, 1999). "Out of Speedy's Range". Newsday. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f "Steve Nisenson". April 8, 2009. Archived from the original on October 7, 2011. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Nisenson, Steve". Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  16. ^ "New York Knicks Draft Picks". Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  17. ^ Mike Candel (April 27, 1986). "Some Jet-Setting Gym Rats Wing It". Newsday. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  18. ^ "News". Five Boro Sports. January 31, 2009. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  19. ^ Peter Vecsey (December 2, 2008). "SIR CHARLES RIGHT TO RIP KING". New York Post. Retrieved August 11, 2011.