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PSAL Hall of Fame Basketball Inductee

Billy Cunningham
Erasmus Hall

Interesting Facts

4 year varsity player.
Made All-city team 1960-61.
Was named Brooklyn player of the year 1960-61.
Won PSAL championship 1961.
5 time NBA & All-Star.
ABA MVP 1973.
Won NBA title as a coach 1983.
Named to the NBA's 50 greatest players list!

Quotes about playing in the PSAL from Mr. Cunningham
(Taken from 1999 PSAL Basketball Championships pamphlet)

Question: What are your fondest memories of playing PSAL basketball?

"I still remember when I was a kid- 1958 - they would allow each playoff team to practice at Madison Square Garden a few days before the game. I couldn't sleep the night before. The excitement of the train ride and then walking through the player's took my breath away."

Question: What was it like to play in Madison Square Garden as a high school student?

"There was nothing like it. I was 13 or 14 the first time I played a game there, and I set a record for the most rebounds in a PSAL playoff game. My family was in the stands. It was just wonderful. Playing in Madison Square Garden- think about it: you leave your high school gym with maybe 800 seats in it, and go to an arena that seats 17,000, and there isn't a seat available and the place is going crazy. It was hard to keep my emotions in control, my heart was pumping out of my chest."

Question: How has playing in the PSAL benefitted your game and your life?

"At that time, New York City basketball - some in Indiana would disagree - I can't imagine anything being close to New York City basketball. The level of play was very intense, very physical. And it effected me a great deal- it prepared me to become a pro basketball player. I've now been involved with pro ball for 30 years, so it must have prepared me well."

For more info on Billy Cunningham Click on this link to the Basketball Hall of Fame Website.