Rosenstein, Hank : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Rosenstein, Hank

Henry Rosenstein

Rosenstein was a member of the New York Knicks in the initial season of the NBA. He played in the first game in NBA history, a 68-66 victory over the Toronto Huskies (Nov. 1, 1946). He then played professionally in the American Basketball League from 1947-53 before the league folded. Rosenstein later coached in the Eastern League. In 1998, Rosenstein and the other Jewish members of the original Knicks team (Sonny Hertzberg, Nat Militzok, Ralph Kaplowitz, Leo Gottlieb, and Ossie Schectman ) were inducted into the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in Commack, New York

Birth and Death Dates:
b. June 16, 1920

Career Highlights:
In 1946, Rosenstein joined the New York Knicks in the inaugural season of the Basketball Association of America, the first attempt at a national professional league since the 1920s. Three years later, the BAA merged with another pro league, the National Basketball League (a pro league based in the Midwest) and was renamed the NBA. Although Rosenstein began the 1946-47 season with the New York Knicks, he was sent to the Providence Steamrollers (28-32) in the middle of the year; he played in a total of 60 games that season, and scored 382 points.

Rosenstein left the BAA after the 1946-47 season and joined the Scranton Miners of the American Basketball League; the ABL had been the top Eastern pro league before the formation of the BAA. Although considered a regional league, the ABL still attracted some of the best basketball talent in the East as the BAA had not yet fortified its supremacy in professional basketball. Rosenstein spent five seasons with the Miners and helped lead them to back-to-back championships in 1949-50 and 1950-51 (he led the team in scoring in 1950-51 with 422 points and a 11.7 average).

Rosenstein, who also played in the New York State Basketball League during his career, played only 26 games over his final two seasons in the ABL (1951-52, 1952-53) with Scranton and Elmira. His playing career ended following the 1952-53 season when the ABL folded. By this time, the NBA had devoured the NBL and established its supremacy in professional basketball. After his playing career was over, Rosenstein became a coach in the Eastern Pro League.


Career Dates:
Rosenstein played in the NBA for the New York Knicks and Providence Steamrollers in 1946-47. He then played in the ABL with the Scranton Miners, 1947-1952, and Elmira, 1952-53.

Physical description:
6'4", 185 pounds

Career Statistics:
In the NBA:
Games: 60
Points: 382
Points Per Game: 6.4

Field Goals Made: 119
Field Goals Attempted: 390
Field Goal Percentage: .305

Free Throws Made: 144
Free Throws Attempted: 225
Free Throw Percentage: .640

Rebounds: not available
Assists: 36
Assists Per Game: 0.6
Personal Fouls: 172

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encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
The Official NBA Encyclopedia: Third Edition, edited by Jan Hubbard (New York: Doubleday, 2000)