A phenomenal athlete with a love of music, Tony Lavelli came to Williston Academy as a post-graduate. He was elected captain of the varsity basketball team and led the team to a 14-0 record, scoring 307 points out of the team’s 672 total, before moving to tennis in the spring.
At Yale University, Tony scored 1,970 points (a school record that stood for 35 years) and, in his senior year, led the nation in (averaging 22.4 points per game).
Tony was named second team All-American selection in 1946 and 1948 and a first team All-American selection in 1949. He was also named the College Player of the Year. In February 1949, Life magazine called his hook shot “the most spectacular offensive weapon in college basketball history.”
Tony was the number four overall pick of the Boston Celtics in the 1949 NBA draft. In his rookie year, he averaged 8.8 points per game; he was traded to the NY Knicks the following year.
Tony had a great love of music, so he had it written into his contracts with the Celtics and Knicks that he could play the accordion at halftime to entertain the crowds. After his first year with the Knicks, he quit the NBA to pursue a career in music at The Juilliard School. Tony then returned to play for the Harlem Globetrotters, where be was named captain of the College All-Star team and the Globetrotters musical director. Tony went on to release two albums and had a long career as a songwriter and musician.
Tony was the Veteran’s Committee selection for the 2015 Athletic Hall of Fame. His award will be presented by Jake Ross ’16 and accepted by his sister, Ginny Lovett.