A guard and forward, Becker was an exceptional player for New York University in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and was captain of the 1950-51 team. Abe is a member of the NYU Athletics Hall of Fame.
Birth and Death Dates:
Becker played three seasons for the NYU basketball team, and was one of their top scorers during his career. In 1949, Abe joined the Violets' varsity as a sophomore forward, and worked his way into the starting lineup by the end of the season. In the final game of the year, against arch-rival CCNY (City College of New York), Becker scored 14 points and NYU defeated City, 65-52. The victory gave the Violets a regular season record of 12-7 and earned them an invitation to the NIT (National Invitational Tournament). In the first round of the 12-team tournament (the NIT expanded from eight teams that year), Abe scored eight points, but NYU lost to Bradley, 89-67.
In 1950, Abe was again an important player for NYU, but the team struggled during the season. Although they had some excellent players, including Becker, senior forward Joel Kaufman, and sophomore center Mel Seeman, the team could not post a winning record. In the final game of the season, they played eventual National Champions CCNY and lost the match, 64-61, despite Abe's heroic efforts at guard -- he scored 18 points and added five assists. The loss to their rivals ended the Violets' season, and they finished with a record of 8-11.
Although the squad struggled during Becker's junior season, they returned to form in 1951. A senior that year, Abe was team captain and led the Violets in scoring with 278 points in 16 games; his 17.4 points per game average set a school record. Named Converse All-America honorable mention and first team All-Metropolitan, Becker led NYU to a 13-4 record along with Mel Seeman and sophomore forward Mark Solomon. The team did not play in the post-season, however, as they were rocked with a point-shaving scandal (Abe was not involved).
Following the 1951 season, Becker played in the College All-Star East-West game. A starting guard for the East, Becker scored one point in the game, but the East lost the match.
Becker played guard and forward at NYU from 1948-1951.
Use links below to navigate through the basketball section of Jews In Sports.
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
The Modern Encyclopedia of Basketball, edited by Zander Hollander (New York: Doubleday, 1979)
Ronald Encyclopedia of Basketball, edited by William G. Mokray (Ronald Press: 1962)
1951 Converse Basketball Yearbook, by the Converse Rubber Company (Malden, Massachusetts, 1951)
New York Times, March 9, 1949