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Hyman Ginsburg

Basketball ∙ Beaver Falls

 

 

 

 

Many 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.   

At Geneva, 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 for brotherhood."

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.