Hal Greer to be honored by statue

Marshall University will honor Hal Greer with a statue in 2019.

President Jerry Gilbert has created a committee to focus on the state after he proposed the idea of a sculpture for a recognition of Hal Greer.

“The committee has sent out a call for proposal,” Gilbert said. “We had six people express interest and has been narrowed down to three individuals.”

The three final artists have not been named yet.

Don Van Horn, Dean of the College of Arts and Media said the competition was set up that each sculptor will present a proposed budget for the creation and delivery of a finished sculpture.  That budget is part of the package of materials being submitted for consideration by the committee set up to facilitate the process.  Those materials are due later this month and will include photographs of a model for the sculpture, drawings presenting concepts for the installation of the sculpture, proposed budget, and proposed timeline without setting a specific start date since funds will need to be raised in order to undertake the project.

The final plans, drawing and models will be seen by the committee Nov. 16.

During the game against Western Kentucky Jan. 12, Marshall will host the Hal Greer family, unveil the drawings and kickoff the fundraising efforts needed in order to build the statue in memory of Hal Greer, Gilbert said.

“It is an exciting undertaking to memorialize Greer’s many contributions to Marshall University through a bronze statue,” Van Horn said.

The statue will be located near the Henderson Center of Third Avenue in Huntington.

In 1966 Huntington honored Hal Greer with Hal Greer Day. Later in 1978, Huntington also honored Greer by renaming WV route 10, Hal Greer Blvd.

The Huntington-born basketball player Greer was the first African American to play basketball at a state university in West Virginia. While at Marshall, he led in rebounds and field goals during 1956-1958.  He is still ranked seventh for all-time field goals, eighth for all-time rebounding and 20th for all-time scoring.

He was later drafted to the Syracuse Nationals (who became Philadelphia Sixers in 1963) as a second round (sixth pick, 13th overall) in the 1958 NBA Draft. Greer was a 10-time All-Star and in 1982, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Gretchen Kalar can be contacted at [email protected] and Sydney Shelton can be contacted at [email protected]