Shapiro played at City College of New York in the 1940s and in both the NIT and NCAA postseason tournaments. A member of the CCNY Athletic Hall of Fame, Shapiro played under Hall of Fame coach Nat Holman.
Birth and Death Dates:
A guard and forward, Shapiro joined the City College basketball team in the middle of the 1945-46 season after serving three years in the Army (in the Pacific). Teamed with All-Met junior forward (and captain) Paul Schmones and future NBA player Lionel Malamed, Shapiro had an immediate impact on the Beavers’ postseason hopes. Entering the final game of the season against archrival New York University (ranked No. 1 with a 18-1 record), CCNY had a record of 13-4 and was considered a good possibility to play in the postseason.
Against NYU, Shapiro was sensational as he scored a game-high 17 points, including three of City’s five final points in the 49-44 victory. City College fans broke out in spontaneous celebration and over a thousand people marched from Madison Square Garden to Times Square. Unfortunately, the Beavers were shut out of the postseason when the NIT (National Invitational Tournament) invited Rhode Island instead.
In 1947, Shapiro returned to the Beavers as a sophomore, playing starting guard. Fresh off the heels of the team's disappointment in 1946 (many believed the NIT deliberately did not announce Rhode Island's bid until after the NYU-CCNY match in order to maintain a keener interest in that game), CCNY had a terrific season and won their final three games to for a season record of 15-4. In the final game of the season, they demolished NYU 91-60 (Shapiro scored five points), and then earned a bid to the NCAA tournament by defeating Syracuse in a playoff, 61-59 (Shapiro scored two points).
The 1947 NCAA tournament marked the first time a City College team played in that postseason tournament (the school refused to consider the NIT because of the controversy the previous year). The Beavers, led by Shapiro, Schmones, Malamed, senior co-captain Sid Trubowitz, and freshman center Irwin Dambrot, defeated Wisconsin in the first round by scoring 21 of the final 27 points in the game to win 70-56 (Shapiro had one point). In the East Regional Final, he scored five points but CCNY lost to eventual champion Holy Cross (with Bob Cousy), 60-45. In the East consolation game, the Beavers lost to Texas 54-50 as Shapiro scored only two points in the game.
In 1948, the Beavers began the season strong, winning their first five games, but they lost their sixth to Bowling Green, 72-68. They may have been focusing on their next game, a rematch with Texas, but they lost that game as well, 61-59. City College recovered from those two losses to win 14 of their next 15 games, including the season finale over NYU, 60-57 (Shapiro scored nine points in the game). Despite finishing with a superb record of 18-3, the Beavers found themselves shut out of postseason play despite ending the season on a 10-game winning streak. At the end of the season, Shapiro was named All-Metropolitan honorable mention by New York City writers (New York Times, March 14, 1948).
In 1949, with Shapiro as captain of the CCNY basketball team, the Beavers continued the previous year's winning streak by winning their first three games, before losing to SMU in the fourth game of the season. The Beavers remained a strong team all year, though, and finished with a record of 16-7. They were invited to the NIT (National Invitational Tournament), but lost in the first round to Loyola 62-47. Shapiro scored five points in the game.
Shapiro played guard and forward at CCNY, 1946-49.