THE NATIONAL JEWISH
SPORTS HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM
inductee details

Ernie Grunfeld

INDUCTED March 21, 1993


Sport: Basketball
Team: NY KNICKS
Position: PRESIDENT

Biography

In the summer of 1973, Grunfeld earned one of his greatest honors: He was selected to play on the American team for the Maccabiah Games, the only high school student on the starting five. He led the team in scoring with a 20-point average, but unfortunately Israel defeated the U.S. in the final 86-80. 

Some 200 colleges pusued him. He rejected such major basketball powers as Marquette and Notre Dame, and picked the University of Tennessee because he liked the facilities, the schedule and the chance it afforded him to become a college star. Teamed with center Bernard King, Grunfeld helped Tennessee achieve success. (They were later to call it “The Bernie and Ernie Show.”)

Grunfeld played for America's gold-medal-winning team in the Pan American Games in the fall of 1975. But his biggets moment in sports came in the summer of 1976 when he helped the U.S. team win the gold medal in the Olympic Games at Montreal. In July of that year Ernie obtained his American Citizenship. His performance at Tennessee was impressive enough to warrant the careful scrutiny of professional teams. In his Sophomore year he had averaged 23.8 points per game; in his junior year, 25.3; and in his senior year, 23.8
After he retired from Pro basketball, Ernie went into sportscasting, and eventually into the front office, where he is now the President of the NY Knicks.


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