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James Beck

BECK WAS A THREE YEAR LETTERMAN IN BASKETBALL FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON FROM 1952-1955. HE WAS KNOWN FOR HIS HIGH-ARCHING SET SHOTS IN AN ERA LONG-BEFORE THE THREE POINT LINE WAS ADOPTED IN COLLEGE BASKETBALL. HIS FEET ON THE GROUND SHOOTING STYLE WAS DIFFERENT BUT EFFECTIVE AND EARNED HIM THE NICKNAME “THE BLONDE BOMBER.”

THE 5’11 GUARD HELPED LEAD THE ZIPS TO THE 1952-53 OHIO CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP AND AS A SENIOR BECAME ONLY THE FOURTH PLAYER IN AKRON HISTORY TO SCORE MORE THAN 400 POINTS IN A SEASON. DESPITE HIS UNUSUAL SHOOTING STYLE HE SET A PAIR OF MEMORIAL HALL RECORDS WHEN HE DRILLED 19 FIELD GOALS ON HIS WAY TO 42 POINTS AGAINST CAPITAL UNIVERSITY. HIS SCORING MARK WAS LATER ECLIPSED BY A PRETTY FAIR BASKETBALL PLAYER NAMED EARL “THE PEARL” MONROE WHO LED HIS WINSTON SALEM COLLEGE TEAM TO AN NCAA TOURNAMENT VICTORY OVER THE ZIPS.

A RENOWNED “DEAD EYE” FROM LONG RANGE, HIS SHOOTING SKILLS ALSO SERVED HIM WELL FROM THE FOUL LINE WHERE HE HIT 74 OF 79 FREE THROW ATTEMPTS AS A SENIOR. HE LEFT THE UNIVERSITY TO JOIN THE ORIGINAL HOUSE OF DAVID BARNSTORMING TEAM THAT PROVIDED COMPETITION FOR THE HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS AND LATER RECEIVED TRYOUT OFFERS FROM THE ST. LOUIS HAWKS OF THE NBA.

Inducted 2014 | Basketball