Clair F. Bee

Enshrined 1968
Grafton, WV
March 2, 1896 - May 20, 1983


In the 1930s and 1940s, Clair Bee was synonymous with the game of basketball. A New York icon, Bee helped to make college basketball in the Big Apple a major event. Coaching eighteen seasons at Long Island University, Bee led LIU to NIT championships in 1939 and 1941. Under Bee, LIU became a national power, winning 43 consecutive games, including undefeated seasons in 1935-36 and 1938-39. Postseason, LIU played annual tournaments with homegrown talent. And, when the home team competed at Madison Square Garden, the fans went wild. Called the game's greatest defensive strategist by his contemporaries, Bee developed the 1-3-1 zone defense and was very influential in the implementation of the 3-second rule. Bee was a frequent contributor to a variety of sporting publications and authored the critically acclaimed Chip Hilton's Sports Stories for Young People.

Career Highlights

Influential in development of 3-second rule
Developed the 1-3-1 zone defense
NIT championship with Long Island University, 1939, 1941
Author, Chip Hilton's Sports Stories for Young People