individuals have used their athletic abilities as an avenue to
promote social change in the world. Dr. Hyman L. (Hymie) Ginsburg is
an early example of this.
Ginsburg first emerged as an athletic
standout during his years at Beaver Falls High School, where he was
a three-year starter in basketball and was named to the All-Beaver
County team as a senior. He was also a standout track athlete for
the Tigers before moving on the Geneva College.
Ginsburg earned four letters in basketball, track and tennis. But it
was on the basketball court where Ginsburg established his legend
with the Golden Tornadoes, playing alongside Beaver County Sports
Hall of Famers Cliff Aultman,
Ken Loeffler, and
Tom Hurley. He capped his college
basketball career by being named a small college All-American and
participating in the first East-West Basketball All Star game at
Madison Square Garden.
Ginsburg went on to become a dentist after
graduating from Geneva, setting up a thriving practice in Canton,
Ohio. He continued his basketball playing career with
semi-professional teams in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania
until entering the military service in 1941. While in uniform,
Ginsburg played against such basketball luminaries as John Wooden,
Nate Holman and Joe Lapchick.
In the early-1960ís, Dr. Ginsburg
approached Walsh College about organizing a menís basketball
program. That idea came to fruition in the 1962-63 season, as
Ginsburg voluntarily coached Walsh for the first three seasons of
the programís existence. He said the school presented him with the
opportunity to coach a sport he loved while allowing him to maintain
his dental practice. A prominent member of Cantonís Jewish
community, Ginsburg felt that mixing religions (Walsh was
established by the Roman Catholic Church) and athletics was "good
The program that Ginsburg created at Walsh has
seen great success since its inception. The team advanced to the
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletic (NAIA) national
tournament in 1983, 1984, 1993, 1996 and 1998. With Ginsburgís help,
the basketball program at Walsh also launched the coaching career of
West Virginia coach Bob Huggins, who recently took the Mountaineers
to the NCAA final Four.
Dr. Ginsburg served on numerous boards in
Canton and for the state of Ohio. He was inducted into the Canton
Jewish Center Hall of Fame, as well as the Beaver Falls Booster Club
Hall of Fame in 1977. In 1980, he was presented with Geneva College
Distinguished Service Award. Since his death in 1986, his estate has
presented the Dr. H.L. Ginsburg Award to a Canton-area adult who has
contributed to the Canton Jewish Center through coaching, volunteer
work or community service.