Nov. 19, 2007
KANSAS CITY, Mo.--Pitt men's basketball radio analyst Dick Groat was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame on November 18 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. As part of the NABC Foundation's second annual Hall of Fame ceremony, eight former players and coaches were inducted into the Hall of Fame including Groat, UCLA's Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Duke's Vic Bubas, Tennessee State's Dick Barnett, Notre Dame's Austin Carr, Maryland's Charles "Lefty" Driesell, Houston's Guy Lewis and Missouri's Norm Stewart.
"We are so proud to offer our congratulations to our good friend Dick Groat for his induction into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame," Pitt Interim Athletic Director Donna Sanft said. "This award is a fitting tribute to Dick's amazing accomplishments as a two-time All American at Duke. It's been our good fortune to have Dick as the color analyst for Pitt basketball for 29 years, and we will always consider Dick an important part of the Pitt family."
In his 29th year as Pitt's color analyst alongside Bill Hillgrove, Groat is one of Pittsburgh's most enduring sports legends, making his mark in two different sports. He enjoyed a 14-year Major League Baseball career, was a member of two World Series teams, earned league MVP honors and won the 1960 batting title. But Dick Groat's best sport, according to Red Auerbach, was basketball.
Standing barely 6-feet tall and weighing a mere 172 pounds, the Swissvale native was hardly an imposing presence on the basketball court or the baseball diamond, but during his 1950-52 Duke University career, he led two Blue Devil sports teams to unprecedented heights.
A two-time All-America selection in both baseball and basketball, Groat played professional basketball for the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons while finishing his final semester at Duke. He was under contract with his hometown Pittsburgh Pirates at the time as well.
Groat finished his Blue Devil basketball career averaging 23.0 points per game and shooting 41 percent from the field and 74 percent from the free throw line. In his final game at Duke, he scored a career-high 48 points against archrival North Carolina--a school record that lasted 37 years. His 831 total points as a junior was the highest single-season total until Jason Williams broke the mark in 2001. He won the Helms National Player of the Year award in 1951.
As a baseball player for the Blue Devils, he hit .386 and .370 in his final two years and led his team to the NCAA College World Series his senior year.
Groat spent 14 years as a standout shortstop for the Pirates and Cardinals, finishing with a lifetime batting average of .286 and two World Series rings. He was the first Duke basketball player to have his jersey retired and was among the first class of inductees into the Duke Sports Hall of Fame in 1975.
Despite tremendous success and recognition as a professional baseball player, Dick Groat, perhaps echoing the sentiments of Coach Auerbach, has always considered himself a basketball player first.