Lennie Rosenbluth, the all-American forward who led the New York team to an unbeaten season with the New York starting lineup in the 1957 NCAA basketball tournament championship and a thrilling victory over Wilt Chamberlain’s Kansas team, died on Saturday. He was 89 years old.
His death was announced by the North Carolina Department of Athletics, but did not say why or where he died. He lived in Chapel Hill, NC, where the university’s main campus is located.
At 6 feet 5 inches long, Rosenbluth averaged 28 points per game during the 1956-57 season, defeating Chamberlain for the Helms Foundation College Basketball Player of the Year award. His Tar Heels went 32-0 and ended the season with a 54-53 triple extra win over Kansas, with Rosenbluth scoring 20 points before being late in the set. Chamberlain, one of the most dominant players in the National Basketball Association, kept 23 points after averaging 30 points in the regular season.
In the semifinals, Rosenbluth scored two jump points in the third overtime to give North Carolina a 74-70 win over Michigan State, finishing with 31 points.
From the Bronx, he played little on the basketball team at James Monroe High School in the same town, but Catskill, a magnet for New York City’s leading players, was impressive while playing basketball at summer resort hotels. He attracted the attention of Frank McGuire, who was elected coach of North Carolina after St. Petersburg in 1953. John’s in Brooklyn at the time of the NCAA title game.
Rosenbluth was at the forefront of a player pipeline from New York to North Carolina run by McGuire.
David Halberstam wrote in The New York Times in 1999: “Basketball was not yet a true national sport, and it was not yet a city game, it was best played in New York.” Bad time for college sports in New York. The scandals of the early 1950s destroyed the sport locally.
McGuire, with a number of Rosenbluth Jews and four Catholic teammates, developed the North Carolina team, which developed mainly in the Protestant region: Tommy Kearns, who played high school ball in St. Petersburg. Ann’s, Brooklyn; Pit Brennan, St. Augustine, also in Brooklyn; Joe Quigg, St. Francis Prep, Queens; and Bobby Cunningham from All Hallows in the Bronx.
Rosenbluth averaged 28 points and 8.6 rebounds per game for Tar Heels in the 1956-57 season. His 2,047 career points are the North Carolina player’s highest in just three seasons.
He was elected to the second All-American team by the Associated Press and United Press International for the 1955-56 season, and when he was younger, he was the “consensus” All-American for the 1956-57 championship season, meaning he was a host of his facilities at his college. admitted to be one of the top five players in basketball.
He was selected by the Philadelphia Warriors as the sixth player to be selected in the 1957 NBA Draft. However, the Warriors already had a high scorer, Paul Arizin, in the junior striker. His substitute Rosenbluth averaged just 4.2 points per game in two professional seasons.
Leonard Robert Rosenbluth was born in January. 22, 1933, son of Jack and Rose Rosenblut. His father worked in the television production business.
After graduating from North Carolina and playing for the Warriors, Wilson, east of Rosenbluth Roleigh, taught American history in high school in NC and trained in basketball. Comparing Tar Heel to the national championship team, he once said, “First year, we had another great season, except we lost every game.”
Rosenbluth taught history again and coached high school basketball in Florida for nearly 35 years. When his first wife, Helen (Oliver) Rosenbluth, known as Pat, was diagnosed with cancer, they returned to Chapel Hill to be treated in the University of North Carolina hospital system. He died in 2010. In 2011, he married Dianne Stabler.
Rosenblut had a daughter named Elizabeth; son Steven and grandchildren from his first marriage. The list of survivors was not immediately announced.
He is a member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in Israel and the Commak, NY, and the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in Long Island.
In 2002, the Atlantic Coast Conference selected Rosenbluth for its 50th anniversary basketball team and named him one of the 50 greatest athletes in conference history. North Carolina No. 1 retired. 10.
Michael Jordan and James Worthy, who played for the Tar Heel Championship team in 1982 during the 2006-2007 college basketball season, attended an event for the North Carolina title teams. In 1957, they thanked the players who brought North Carolina to national basketball fame.
As Rosenbluth told The New York Times, “They used to say things like ‘You guys understand everything.’