76ers legend Hal Greer dies at 81

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He was "the greatest middle-distance jump shooter of all time, and that includes Michael Jordan", Mr. Greer's Hall of Fame teammate Dolph Schayes told the New York Daily News in 1998.

"Along with his own historical gifts within the court, Greer will be remembered as a gentle man who had used basketball's platform encourage and to up lift others, &rdquo".

"I'm terribly saddened by the news of Hal's passing", said Marshall Director of Athletics Mike Hamrick in a statement.

Greer spent his entire NBA career with the 76ers, winning one NBA Championship and appearing in 10 All-Star Games in 15 seasons. He played basketball at Marshall University, where he was credited as the first African American to play for a major college team in West Virginia. "I had the wonderful opportunity to visit with him and his family back in February of 2012 when we closed the doors on the Veterans Memorial Fieldhouse".

Greer was chosen into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame along with Willie Reed, Frank Ramsey, Slater Martin, Clarence Gaines and also Ava Duer.

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He played each of his 15 National Basketball Association seasons with the franchise, and is their all time leader in several categories, including points (21,586), games played (1,122) and field goals (8,504).A 10-time All-Star, Greer was named as one of the NBA's 50 greatest players, led the Sixers to the 1967 National Basketball Association title and had his number retired by the franchise in 1976. Greer was the first player to have his number (15) retired by the 76ers organization in 1976. Greer perhaps shined the brightest during the 1968 All-Star game, when he lit up Madison Square Garden with 21 points in just 17 minutes while playing with a record 17 future Hall of Famers. The tribute will include black patches with Greer's No. 15 on the players' jerseys.

The Celtics had established a dynasty under Coach Red Auerbach and center Bill Russell, reeling off eight straight championships before Mr. Greer and the 76ers defeated them in five games. "Throughout his 15-year career with the Syracuse Nationals and Philadelphia 76ers, Greer solidified his place as one of the greatest basketball players ever".

The Sixers plan to honor Greer during Game 2 of the team's first-round playoff series against the Miami Heat on Monday.

The Sixers said Greer was survived by his wife Mayme, a son and two daughters.

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