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Harry J. Gallatin (born April 26, 1927 in Roxanamarker, Illinoismarker) is an American former professional basketball player and coach. Gallatin played nine seasons for the New York Knicks in the NBA from 1948 to 1957, as well as one season with the Detroit Pistons in 1958. In 1954 Gallatin led the NBA in rebounding, and was named to the All-NBA First Team. Gallatin was named to the All-NBA Second Team in 1955. For his career, Gallatin played in seven NBA All-Star Game.

High school/college

Growing up Gallatin had taken interest in all sports and has been quoted as saying, "Competition has always been my cup of tea." His drive for competition was amplified during his first year in high school as he attended Wood River High School from 1940-41. Since Roxana and some other outlying communities like Bethaltomarker did not have high schools of their own at the time, all of the athletes in the area attended Wood River and thus increased the level of competition among the athletes. The following year Roxana had a high school of its own. He graduated from Roxana High Schoolmarker in 1944 and was granted a basketball scholarship by Northeast Missouri State Teacher’s College, which is known today as Truman State Universitymarker. However, after graduating from Roxana High School he enlisted in the Navy and served until the end of World War II.

On his first day at Northeast Missouri, he met a girl by the name of Bev. They were married about a year after college. He said he wouldn't have been able to accomplish everything that he has in his life without her. While playing basketball at Northeast Missouri State Teacher’s College he would go on to average 13.2 points per game and shoot over 70 percent. He would later receive his master's degree from the University of Iowamarker in Physical Education in 1954. Initially, Gallatin said he never thought he would play college basketball, because although he did well in school, he didn't know if he would qualify academically for college. However, he performed well enough for the New York Knicks to make him their number one pick in the 1948 NBA draft. "It was a dream come true. I really didn't know what to expect, it was my first plane ride from St. Louis to New York. Here I am a boy from Wood River, a country boy, and going to the Big Apple," Gallatin explained. "All I knew was that I loved to play basketball and the Knicks had taken me with their number one choice. So I knew that they thought I had the kind of abilities that they were looking for."

NBA player

Within his first two years in the NBA he was selected to the first NBA All-Star Game in 1951. In fact, from 1951 through 1957, he was selected to play in the NBA All-Star game. It was in the NBA where he earned the nickname Harry “The Horse” Gallatin. Gallatin played his entire career as an undersized center at 6’6 and weighing 215 lbs. However, he had more than size and passion; he had tremendous physical strength, and was the epitome of hard work both in college and in the NBA. His durability and constant concentration led him to set an NBA consecutive games played record at the time of 682 games. Gallatin played nine seasons for the New York Knicks in the NBA from 1948 to 1957. His best statistical year was in 1954 when he led the NBA in rebounding, averaging 15.3 rebounds per game. That same year he was also named to the All-NBA First Team. His most dominating single-game performance as an inside presence was on the last regular season game of the 1952-53 season. That night in a game against his future team, the Detroit Pistons, Gallatin pulled down a Knick's record 33 rebounds, which still stands today. To say rebounding was one of the things he did well was an understatement. In six of the eight seasons he played when rebounds were recorded, he was among the top in the league in rebounds per game. And for his career he averaged an impressive 11.9 rebounds per game. After nine strong years with the Knicks he was traded to Detroit Pistons in 1958. he played one season for the Pistons before retiring. He retired as one of the most dominating post players of his era, and a very durable and dedicated athlete.

Post-playing life

After leading the Southern Illinois Salukis to the postseason in each of his four years there, Gallatin started his NBA coaching career in 1962 with the St. Louis Hawks and was named the NBA's Coach of the year in his first season. He later coached the New York Knicks for 63 games during 1964-1966 as well. Gallatin was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Famemarker in 1991. Following his retirement from coaching he has been a very enthusiastic and active person as he was the physical education teacher and golf coach at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsvillemarker back in the 1980s. Gallatin is currently living his retired days as a resident of Edwardsville, Illinoismarker.

References

  1. http://siusalukis.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/101904aaa.html


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