By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93
This Day in Bonaventure History
January 21, 1939
Tom Stith never quite left the Reilly Center. Though he played basketball in the early 1960’s, a mural of Stith, along with his brother, Tom, was unveiled near the RC Café in 2011. St. Bonaventure University thought it was only right to enshrine one of its greatest athletes who went on to an NBA career.
It was on this day that Stith was born in Greenville County, Va. He attended prep school in Brooklyn before committing to Bonaventure, where he and Sam formed a formidable duo. The brothers combined for an average of 52.0 points per game during the 1959-1960 season. Tom Stith became Bonaventure’s first consensus All-American in 1960 and 1961. He also finished second in the nation in scoring with 31.5 points per game, behind only Oscar Robertson.
Tom Stith entered the NBA draft in 1961, and was picked second overall by the New York Knicks. He played most of his rookie season, but then contracted tuberculosis in the beginning of his sophomore campaign and was forced to retire.
Both Tom and Sam Stith are members of Bonaventure’s Athletics Hall of Fame. Their numbers (Tom-42, Sam-22) also hang in the rafters of the Reilly Center.