A Brief History
On February 13, 1954, Franklin Delano Selvy, shooting guard/small forward for the Furman University (South Carolina) basketball team scored an NCAA Division I record 100 points in a game against Newberry College (South Carolina), a feat never matched in Division I play.
The 6’ 3” Selvy, known as Frank, hailed from Corbin, Kentucky and was born in 1932, presumably the reason he was so named. (Franklin Delano Roosevelt won the 1932 US Presidential election the same month Selvy was born.)
In a story right out of a book of Fairy Tales, Selvy was being honored the night of the record setting game with “Frank Selvy Night” in recognition of his final year of college basketball in which he was to be named All-American and lead the nation in scoring with 41.7 points per game. (Selvy had achieved both accomplishments in his junior year as well.) A further fortunate fact was that the magical performance was broadcast on live television, the first such broadcast in South Carolina history. Selvy’s obliging coach instructed his players to throw Selvy the ball and let him shoot whenever possible, and that is what they did, with Frank sinking 41 of his 66 shots from the field and adding 18 points on free throws (of 22 attempted).
Frank went on to become the number 1 pick in the NBA draft of 1954, chosen by the Baltimore Bullets. He played 9 seasons of NBA ball, with a 3 year stretch taken out for military service. His final totals of 10.8 points per game, 3.7 rebounds per game and 2.8 assists per game may not seem that impressive, but remember he lost 3 prime years to the Army. Selvy did make the 1955 and 1962 NBA All Star Teams, and played for 5 different teams (in 7 cities because of team movement).
Frank Selvy’s college legacy is his record setting 100 point game, but sadly he is best remembered for missing the final shot of the 1962 NBA Championship game while playing for the Lakers against the Celtics. If Selvy had made the 12 or 18 foot jump shot (accounts vary) from the baseline the game and series would have been won by Los Angeles, but the miss put the deciding game into overtime which the Celtics won, a habit of beating the Lakers the Bostonians had for many years.
Selvy went on to coach at his alma mater, Furman, and later put in 25 years at the St. Joe Paper Company. Selvy claims he was fouled on that fateful missed shot, but of course, that does not matter now. His performance on that special night of February 13, 1954 belongs to Frank Selvy and The Ages, one of the greatest performances in college sports history.
Question for students (and subscribers): What are the most points you have ever scored in a basketball game? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
McIntosh, Jack. Frank Selvy: Coal Miner’s Son. Independent Publisher, 2016.