Lennie Rosenbluth, Leading North Carolina by Head, Dies at 89

Lennie Rosenbluth, an All-American forward who led the North Carolina team with a squad from New Yorkers to an unbeaten season with a thrilling victory over Kansas’ Wilt Chamberlain squad in the 1957 NCAA basketball tournament , died Saturday. He was 89 years old.

His death was announced by the North Carolina athletics department, which did not say why or how he died. He was living in Chapel Hill, NC, home on the main campus of the university.

Rosenbluth, 6 feet 5 inches, scored an average of 28 points per game in the 1956-57 season and beat Chamberlain for the Helms Foundation Basketball Player of the Year award. His Tar Heels went 32-0 and ended their season with a 54-53 three-point victory over Kansas, with Rosenbluth scoring 20 points before the regulations were delayed. Chamberlain, who became one of the National Basketball Association’s top players, was held to 23 points after an average of 30 during the regular season.

In the semi-finals, Rosenbluth hit two flying shots in the third extra time of North Carolina’s 74-70 victory over Michigan State and finished with 31 points.

A Bronx native, he played at least one basketball team at James Monroe High School in the neighborhood but showed an impressive game playing basketball at the Catskill summer hotels, the attraction of the leading players in the New York metropolitan area. York. He came to know Frank McGuire, who was named North Carolina coach in 1953 after taking over at St. Louis. John’s, then Brooklyn, at the NCAA title game.

Rosenbluth was the front line for a pipeline of players from New York to North Carolina coordinated by McGuire.

“Basketball was still not a national sport, and the game was still more often than not a city game, played better, it was believed, in New York,” David Halberstam wrote in The New York Times in 1999. “But it was a bad time. for a university game in New York.The accounting scandals of the early ’50s ruined the game locally.

McGuire formed a North Carolina team that flourished in a large Protestant area with a rank that included Rosenbluth, who was Jewish, and four Catholic teammates: Tommy Kearns, who had played high school football in St. Petersburg. Ann’s, in Brooklyn; Pete Brennan, from St. Augustine, also in Brooklyn; Joe Quigg, from St. Francis Prep, in Queens; and Bobby Cunningham, from All Hallows, in the Bronx.

Rosenbluth scored an average of 28 points and scored 8.6 goals in the regular Tar Heels game of 1956-57. His 2,047 career scores are the highest ever issued by a North Carolina player who appeared in just three seasons.

He was named the second All-American team by The Associated Press and United Press International for the 1955-56 season, when he was a teenager, and the All-American “agreement” for the 1956-57 championship season, meaning a. many stores admitted that he was among the top five players in college basketball.

He was drafted by the Philadelphia Warriors as the sixth player selected in the 1957 NBA draft. But the Warriors already had Paul Arizin with more goals in front. Rosenbluth, his backup, averaged just 4.2 points in the game in his two pro seasons.

Leonard Robert Rosenbluth was born January 22, 1933, the son of Jack and Rose Rosenbluth. His father worked in the television business.

After graduating from North Carolina and playing for the Warriors, Rosenbluth taught American history and taught basketball at a high school in Wilson, NC, east of Raleigh. In comparison to his national team of Tar Heel champions, he once joked about how “my first year, we had a good season again, unless we lost every game.”

Rosenbluth taught history again and taught high school basketball in Florida for 35 years. When his first wife, Helen (Oliver) Rosenbluth, known as Pat, was diagnosed with cancer, they returned to Chapel Hill for treatment in a hospital setting. University of North Carolina. She died in 2010. He married Dianne Stabler in 2011.

Rosenbluth had a daughter, Elizabeth; son, Steven, and grandchildren from his first marriage. The list of survivors was not immediately available.

He was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall in Israel and the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in Commack, NY, on Long Island.

In 2002, the Atlantic Coastal Conference selected Rosenbluth for its 50th anniversary basketball team and named him one of the top 50 athletes in the conference’s history. North Carolina retired at number ten.

During the 2006-2007 university basketball season, Michael Jordan and James Worthy, who played for the 1982 Tar Heel Championship team, attended the North Carolina Cup of Nations. They thanked the players who brought North Carolina to the national basketball fame in 1957.

As Rosenbluth told The New York Times, “They were saying things like, ‘You did it all.’

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