Player sports Western Reserve
uniform during last year's
Hank Lefkowitz called Adelbert Gymnasium home from 1943 until 1947 and 60 years later the modern day Case Western Reserve University hoop teams will lace 'em up in the old armory.
Both the Spartan men's and women's basketball teams will host Carnegie Mellon University Friday night (6:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.) and then the University of Rochester Sunday (12:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m.) afternoon in old Adelbert Gym as part of a second annual Throwback Weekend.
"I went last year and it was fun," said Lefkowitz, a Cleveland Heights High School graduate. "It jarred a lot of old memories."
The men will wear maroon Western Reserve University uniforms and sport the Red Cat logo on Friday night and then change into brown Case Institute of Technology uniforms with the Rough Rider logo on Sunday. The women's team will wear gold Mather College uniforms on both dates with the Mather arch logo that symbolizes the Flora Stone Mather College for Women of Western Reserve University.
Lefkowitz earned three letters in basketball at Western Reserve in 1943,1946 and 1947. He was an All-Big Four selection in 1943, an All-Mid-American Conference (MAC) honoree in 1947 and was co-captain in 1946 and 1947. Lefkowitz scored 32 points versus Detroit in1946, totaled 292 points that season and averaged 20.9 points per game and totaled 503 points for two years. They were all records, eventually broken, but definitely not forgotten.
"My senior year was the first year for the MAC and we played some real good teams," Lefkowitz said. "We beat Ohio University and the University of Cincinnati. I just enjoyed playing the game. I enjoyed scoring, and I enjoyed passing. I was a good passer."
Lefkowitz received a degree in business administration from Western Reserve University in 1947. His longest stint in the business world was with Dover Construction from 1952-1970. Prior to that, the former Red Cat played professional basketball with the Cleveland Rebels of the Basketball Association of America (a forerunner of the modern National Basketball Association).
"That was at the beginning of the NBA and it was fun," said Lefkowitz. "We had to go everywhere by train. The owner of the team's partner had been killed in a plane crash, and he would not allow his players to fly."
Player sports Mather College
uniform during last year's
Back then they only played about 40 games compared to the modern day 82. The Rebels played in the old Cleveland Arena, a place Lefkowitz also played during his collegiate years. Cleveland's first NBA team folded after just one year, and he was sold to Baltimore.
"I knew I wasn't that great," said Lefkowitz. "I was good, but I was never going to be a real star. There was no money to be made back then anyway, so I figured if I don't have to go to Baltimore, I might as well go to work."
Helen Smith (1958-1970), a member of the Case Reserve Athletic Club Hall of Fame, was an instructor in physical education from 1932 until 1942, when she was promoted to assistant professor. In 1958, Smith was selected chairman of women's physical education at Western Reserve's Mather College and held the position until 1970. Smith wrote numerous research publications and was instrumental in developing the women's intercollegiate athletic program at Case Western Reserve University.
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