Who was Bill Mokray?

If you see a list of people who've been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Game, you will notice the name Bill Mokray as having been inducted in 1965.  While he never scored a point or grabbed a rebound, his impact on the game, and the Boston Celtics, was pretty profound.

Like Tommy Heinsohn and Togo Palazzi, who both consider themselves Celtics for life, Bill was from NJ, specifically Passaic.  He had very weak eyesight which prevented him from playing basketball himself but his love of the game led him to become one of the pioneer promoters, historians and authors of the game.

After graduating from the University of Rhode Island, he became public relations director at Rhode Island State College and joined the Celtics in the same capacity in 1946. Mokray gathered statistics and wrote articles for Converse's Basketball Yearbook, founded and was editor of The Official NBA Guide and authored the history of basketball for the Encyclopedia Britannica. He also wrote the 900-page Ronald Basketball Encyclopedia. Much of his extensive personal sports library was donated to the Hall of Fame.

Some of the other things Bill helped introduce:
  • Started concept of college basketball doubleheaders at the Boston Garden, 1944-45*
  • First Chairman of the Hall of Fame Honors Committee, 1959-64
  • Owned what was considered to be the world's largest basketball library**
*Tangent 1: Bring these back please!
**Tangent 2: Was this the inspiration for the Buffoon?  Remember he was said to have compiled a pretty impressive library in his parents' basement growing up

The next time someone mentions to you advanced statistics, true shooting percentage or PER remember Bill Mokray, the godfather of basketball statistics and a public relations guy for the early Celtics.