5-time All-Star from early NBA years dies at 94


Former NBA and Basketball Association of America (BAA) star Bobby Wanzer passed away at age 94, the NBA’s official website reported, citing the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.

A Hall of Fame inductee Wanzer died at home in Pittsford, N.Y., near Rochester. His family announced his death.

Wanzer had an outstanding two-handed set shot and he sometimes penetrated for a hook shot, finishing in the league’s top 10 in field-goal percentage four times. He set a league record for free-throw percentage, at 90.4 percent, in the 1951-52 season. He averaged 12.2 points a game for his career, playing mostly in a relatively low-scoring era, according to a NY Times article.

Wanzer was a 5-time All-Star with the Rochester Royals and a star guard on their 1951 championship team.

Wanzer played his entire nine-year career with the Royals and also coached the team for three-plus seasons, two in Rochester and one full campaign plus 18 games into another after the franchise moved to Cincinnati as part of the lineage of the organization that would eventually become the Sacramento Kings.

The first-round pick by the Royals in the 1948 Basketball Association of America draft out of Seton Hall was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1987 as part of the class that also included Rick Barry, Pete Maravich and Walt Frazier. Wanzer later coached at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, N.Y., from 1963 to 1987.

Wanzer played a total of 568 games in NBA and BAA, averaging 12.4 ppg and 3.2 apg.


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