Billy Gabor, Former NBA Basketball Player, Dies at 97
Billy Gabor, who played in the NBA for seven years, passed away after a brief battle with pneumonia. He celebrated his 97th birthday on May 13.
Gabor's son confirmed the news on Tuesday, and Associated Press reported that Gabor averaged 9.8 points per game during his NBA career.
He was also the first person to score 1,000 points in a season. At the time of his retirement in 2009, Gabor was the Syracuse's all-time leading scorer, a record he held for more than 20 years.
RIP to Billy Gabor, who died earlier today at age 97.— Sixers History (@SixersHistory) June 4, 2019
An All-Star and NBA champion, Gabor was a key force behind the great Syracuse Nationals teams of the early '50s.
In 2017, we were fortune to podcast with Gabor about his basketball career: https://t.co/Caj8w87lNG pic.twitter.com/yXKkW9mTgN
According to AP: "Syracuse retired Gabor's No. 17 jersey, which now hangs in the Carrier Dome alongside those of Bing, Derrick Coleman [and] Carmelo Anthony."
Gabor joined the Sixers Hoops History Podcast in 2017 for a discussion about his teammates, his time at the Syracuse University and about being the oldest former NBA player alive at the time.
Gabor earned the nickname "The Bullet" due to his incredible speed.
Gabor joked that he made about $100 per game and remarked how players today earn up to $250,000 per game. Listen to the podcast here:
The late NBA co-founder and Atlanta Haws franchise founder, Leo Ferris' family said on Twitter that Gabor was a "sweet man."
They added: "We had the honor of talking to Billy Gabor over the phone last year for about 10 minutes. He had called to thank for [the] Syracuse Nationals pictures [we] mailed him. May he rest in peace."
Gabor earned the nickname "The Bullet" due to his incredible speed, and was described by Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim as "one of the greatest Syracuse players of all time."