Forman, Don : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Forman, Don

Donald J. Forman

After an All-America career at New York University, Forman played for the Minneapolis Lakers in the NBA. In 1949, he was a member of the Lakers when they won the NBA Championships, the first NBA title in franchise history. A member of the NYU Athletics Hall of Fame, and the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame, Forman is currently a successful tax attorney in Dallas, Texas.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. Jan. 17, 1926

Career Highlights:
Forman was a marvelous guard at NYU in the 1940s, and with classmate Dolph Schayes he led the Violets to the postseason in three out of their four varsity seasons. As freshmen in 1945, Forman and Schayes joined sophomore sensation Sid Tannenbaum to help lead NYU to a 16-6 record and a regional bid to the NCAA tournament; Forman was named All-Metropolitan honorable mention while Schayes received second team and Tannenbaum first team honors.

In the East Regional Semifinal of the NCAA, Forman scored six point, helping NYU defeat Tufts, 59-44. In the East Final (National Semifinal), NYU managed to erase a 10 point deficit in the final two minutes of the game to force overtime against Ohio State. Forman, who scored the tying basket with less than 30 seconds remaining in regulation, finished the game with 10 points, as NYU outlasted the Buckeyes in the extra period and won the game, 70-65. In the NCAA Championship game, Forman scored 11 points, but the Violets were overwhelmed by Oklahoma A&M's 7-foot center Bob Kurland, the tournament MVP, who scored 27 points. A&M defeated NYU, 49-45.

In 1946, Forman was named first team All-Metropolitan as he finished second on the team in scoring with 213 points (Tannenbaum led NYU), and the Violets returned to the NCAA tournament ranked No. 11 with a record of 18-2. Prior to the season finale with archrival CCNY (City College), NYU had been ranked No. 1, but when City upset the Violets (48-44), they dropped in the rankings. In the East Regional Semifinal, NYU played North Carolina, which handed the Violets their first loss early in the season. NYU was still favored, but poor performances by Forman, Schayes, and Tannenbaum (none scored in double figures) allowed the Tar Heels to upset the Violets, 57-49. In the Regional consolation game, Forman dropped in three points as NYU defeated Harvard and their star player, Saul Mariaschin. It was Harvard's only postseason appearance in school history.

Considered one of the top teams in the East entering the 1947 season, the Violets had a disappointing year, finishing with a record of 12-9, and they were blown out in the season finale by CCNY, 91-60. Forman, who scored only four points against City College, was one of NYU's bright spots and was named second team All-Metropolitan at the end of the season.

The following year, Schayes and Forman (described as the team's sparkplug and playmaker), returned as seniors, and led NYU back to the top of college basketball. That year, Forman was named True second team All-America, Associated Press third team All-America, and first team All-Metropolitan (as was Schayes). They helped NYU to a 20-3 record, a No. 6 national ranking, and a berth in the NIT.

In the tournament, the Violets found themselves without the full services of Forman, who was sidelined with lower back pain, missing the season finale against CCNY. In NYU's first round game against Texas, Forman started the game, but scored only three points and sat for much of the second half. NYU, however, escaped with a 45-43 victory to move them into the semifinals, where they faced DePaul. Forman did not play against DePaul because of his discomfort, but NYU still managed to defeat the Blue Demons, 72-59. In the NIT final, the Violets were again without the services of Forman as they faced a tough St. Louis team (with Jewish player Louis Lehman). Without Forman, NYU found itself overmatched as tournament MVP Ed MaCauley outbattled Schayes and the Billikens defeated NYU, 65-52.

After his outstanding NYU career, Forman joined the Minneapolis Lakers in 1948-49, when the team jumped from the NBL to the NBA. He played in 44 games that season (his only year in the NBA) and the Lakers finished in second place in the Western Division with a record of 44-16. In the playoffs, they swept Chicago and Rochester to reach the NBA Finals. In the Finals, they faced the Red Auerbach-coached Washington Capitols. The Lakers won the series, 4-2 to achieve the franchise's first NBA title.

New York

Career Dates:
Forman played both guard and forward for NYU from 1944-1948. He played in the NBA for the Minneapolis Lakers in 1948-49.

Physical description:
6'1", 175 pounds

Career Statistics:
In the NBA:
Games: 44
Points: 179
Points Per Game: 4.1

Field Goals Made: 68
Field Goals Attempted: 231
Field Goal Percentage: .294

Free Throws Made: 43
Free Throws Attempted: 67
Free Throw Percentage: .642

Rebounds: not available
Assists: 74
Assists Per Game: 1.7
Personal Fouls: 94

NBA playoffs:
Games: 9
Points: 13
Points Per Game: 1.4

Field Goals Made: 3
Field Goals Attempted: 20
Field Goal Percentage: .150

Free Throws Made: 7
Free Throws Attempted: 11
Free Throw Percentage: .636

Rebounds: not available
Assists: 7
Assists Per Game: 0.7
Personal Fouls:15

Use links below to navigate through the basketball section of Jews In Sports.

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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)
Inside Sports Magazine: College Basketball, by Mike Douchant with Jim Nantz (Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 1997)
Ronald Encyclopedia of Basketball, edited by William G. Mokray (Ronald Press: 1962)
The Modern Encyclopedia of Basketball, edited by Zander Hollander (New York: Doubleday, 1979)
New York Times, March 11, 1945
New York Times, March 16, 1947
New York Times, March 14, 1948