Former Celtics G John McCarthy Dies at 86; Member of 1964 NBA Championship Team

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 13, 2020

Bill Sharman, Boston Celtics' player, (21), flies through John McCarthy (15) and Bob Pettit (9) rear, both of St. Louis Hawks, as he attempts to score during the first period of the second game of the NBA Playoffs at the Boston Garden, March 29, 1960. (AP Photo)
Associated Press

John McCarthy, a star at Canisius before spending six seasons in the NBA, died from natural causes Wednesday, the school announced

He was 86.

President John Hurley called McCarthy "one of the best, if not the best, basketball players to come through Canisius College."

McCarthy spent his last season in the NBA with the Boston Celtics. He averaged 1.3 points and 0.9 assists in 28 games during the 1963-64 campaign as the Celtics captured their seventh NBA championship.

McCarthy played three seasons at Canisius before moving onto the pros. He helped guide the Golden Griffins to heights they've yet to reach again as they made the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament in 1955 and 1956.

Over those two seasons, the Buffalo, New York, native averaged 19.3 points and 6.9 rebounds.

Along with his one season in Boston, McCarthy was a member of the St. Louis Hawks for three years and the Rochester Royals, who became the Cincinnati Royals, for two years.

Upon the end of his playing career, McCarthy coached the Buffalo Braves in 1971-72. The team finished 22-59 in his lone season. He then returned to his alma mater in 1974, compiling a 28-49 record over three years as Canisius' head coach.