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14 December 2006

Paul Arizin dies at 78

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
12/14/2006 01:42:00 AM

Paul Arizin, one of the all-time great Wildcats, has died at the age of 78, according to Villanova University. Arizin died in his sleep Tuesday night at home.

Arizin was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame after playing 10 years with the Philadelphia Warriors, and was later named one of the NBA's 50 best players of all time. In college, he starred for the Villanova Wildcats, and was named the college player of the year in the 1949-50 season while leading the team to an excellent record of 24-5.

Villanova issued the first statement, available here.

The New York Times also runs a detailed obituary. ESPN's obituary, though, relates one of the best stories about Arizin, as told by Dr. Jack Ramsey:

He didn't make his high school team, but developed into good player on his own. Villanova coach Al Severance went to see him play one day and was impressed. After watching Arizin play, Severance approached him and asked him if he'd like to go to Villanova. Arizin said, "I already go to Villanova." Severance put Arizin on the team and he became the linchpin to some very good teams there.

Villanova coach Jay Wright also praised Arizin's legacy:

Paul Arizin was the most dignified, classy and humble legend I've ever met. He is adored and respected by anyone who has touched Villanova basketball. I'll always remember his undying support of our staff and players. He was a remarkable man who has left behind an unparalleled legacy and a beautiful family.

According to Villanova, Arizin is survived by his wife, four sons, a daughter and 14 grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are pending.

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