Elmer H. Ripley

It’s fitting that player and coach Elmer Ripley was born the same year that basketball was invented – his love affair with the game lasted his entire life. After graduating from Curtis High School in Staten Island, New York, Ripley began a 20-year pro career with various teams, including Brooklyn, Washington, Cleveland, Fort Wayne, and most notably, the Original Celtics. While he was still a player, Elmer began his 26-year college coaching career at Wagner College. He recorded great success at Georgetown, Yale, Columbia, Notre Dame, John Carroll, West Point, and Regis. A tireless leader, Ripley was constantly looking for new ways to promote basketball. Whether it was conducting clinics for players and coaches, touring with the Globetrotters, assisting the Israeli Olympic team, or coaching the Canadian Olympic team, “Rip” effectively communicated his passion and knowledge of basketball to fans across the globe. Ripley’s enthusiasm for the game kept him on the bench until he was 82, just eight years before his death.