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|Born||June 4, 1921|
Brooklyn, New York
|Died||January 23, 2016 (aged 94)|
Pittsford, New York
|Listed height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Listed weight||170 lb (77 kg)|
|High school||Benjamin Franklin|
(New York City, New York)
|College||Seton Hall (1942–1943, 1946–1947)|
|BAA draft||1948 / Round: 1 / Pick: 10th overall|
|Selected by the Rochester Royals|
|1955–1959||Rochester / Cincinnati Royals|
|1963–1987||St. John Fisher|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career BAA and NBA statistics|
|Points||6,924 (12.2 ppg)|
|Rebounds||1,979 (4.5 rpg)|
|Assists||1,830 (3.2 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
|Basketball Hall of Fame as player|
|College Basketball Hall of Fame|
Inducted in 2006
Robert Francis Wanzer (June 4, 1921 – January 23, 2016) was an American professional basketball player and coach. A five time All-Star and three time All-NBA Second Team selection, Wanzer played his entire professional career for the Rochester Royals of the Basketball Association of America (BAA) and National Basketball Association (NBA). He won an NBA championship with the Royals in 1951. During his final two years as a player, he served as the team's player-coach. After he retired from playing in 1957, he remained as a coach with the Royals for one season, before he became the head coach of the St. John Fisher Cardinals college basketball team in 1963. He stayed in the role with the college for 24 years until his retirement in 1987. Wanzer was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987.
College career and military service
A 6'0" guard, Wanzer played collegiately at Seton Hall University. After leading Seton Hall to a 16-2 record as a sophomore, Wanzer enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He made the All-Pacific Armed Forces All-Star basketball team, and participated in the occupation of Guam.
Wanzer was selected by the Rochester Royals in 1948. Royals star Bob Davies was a Seton Hall coach and steered the star guard to the NBL contender. Initially a reserve behind Al Cervi and Red Holzman, Wanzer later teamed with Davies to form a potent backcourt for the day. The Royals were very successful from 1947–1954, and their smaller stars, like Wanzer, were considered their biggest assets. With Wanzer, Rochester won the 1950–51 National Basketball Association (NBA) title.
Wanzer played his entire career with the Royals, retiring from play after the end of the 1957 season. He was a five-time All-Star with the Royals, made the All-NBA Second Team three consecutive times and, in the 1951–52 season, Wanzer became the first player to ever shoot over 90% from the free throw line in a season.
Wanzer served as the player-coach of the Royals for two years, and then, after the franchise moved to Cincinnati, coached for another season. His 1957–58 Cincinnati Royals team were an NBA championship contender, but injuries stopped the team short. When star Maurice Stokes was permanently injured, Wanzer moved on early the following NBA season.
Pre-deceased by his wife, Nina Penrose Wanzer and son-in-law Darrel Dupra he was survived by daughters, Mary and Beth Wanzer and son, Bobby (Nancy) Wanzer; grandchildren Jeff, Zach and Whitney Dupra, Marti and Madison Wanzer; great-granddaughter Seneca Hernandez Dupra; and sister, Marilyn (Robert) Ulrich.
He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987. He is also a member of the Seton Hall College Hall of Fame, among others.
On August 17, 2007, Wanzer was inducted into the United States Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame.
BAA/NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
|†||Denotes seasons in which Wanzer won an NBA championship|
|*||Led the league|
- DiVeronica, Jeff (January 23, 2016), "Rochester basketball legend Bobby Wanzer dies at 94", Democrat and Chronicle
- The Official NBA Basketball Encyclopedia. Villard Books. 1994. p. 378. ISBN 0-679-43293-0.
- Goldstein, Richard (January 24, 2016), "Bobby Wanzer, 94, Hall of Fame Player From N.B.A.'s Early, Patient Days, Dies", The New York Times