EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) Harry Gallatin, the Hall of Fame basketball player who was a seven-time All-Star forward for the New York Knicks in the 1950s, died Wednesday. He was 88.
The Knicks and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, where Gallatin was a former coach and athletic director, confirmed the death through Gallatin's family. He died in Edwardsville.
Gallatin spent nine seasons with the Knicks, one in the Basketball Association of America and eight in the NBA, and finished his career in 1957-58 with the Detroit Pistons. The former Truman State star averaged 13.3 points and 11.9 rebounds in 630 regular-season NBA games. He led the league in rebounding with a 15.3 average in 1953-54 and was an All-NBA first-team selection that season.
Called ''The Horse'' for his rugged play, the 6-foot-6 Gallatin never missed a game or practice in his career. He played 610 consecutive games with the Knicks, a team record that still stands, and was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 1991.
Gallatin coached at Southern Illinois-Carbondale from 1958-1962, going 79-36 with the Salukis. He then coached in the NBA, going 111-82 in 2 1/2 seasons with the St. Louis Hawks and 25-38 in parts of two seasons with the Knicks.
Gallatin served as Southern Illinois-Edwardsville's athletic director from 1967 to 1972. He started the school's basketball program in 1967 and coached the Cougars for three seasons. In 1973, Gallatin became the men's golf coach, leading the team to 18 NCAA Division II championship appearances.
''The greater metropolitan region, Edwardsville and especially SIUE has lost a genuine and humble giant of a man today,'' Southern Illinois-Edwardsville athletic director Dr. Brad Hewitt said in a statement. ''So kind, so unassuming; yet he had such a powerful impact on so many. Much has been written about Harry's life, his wonderful careers and the people he has touched. Some of the most famous people in the world of sports have praised this man. He deserves much more.''