Paul Joseph Arizin. . .Villanova All-America, 1950 College Player of the Year. . .First Round draft choice by the Philadelphia Warriors. . .Ten time NBA All-Star. . .1952 NBA All-Star game MVP. . .Led the NBA in scoring in 1952 and 1957. . .Named to the NBA's 25th and 50th Anniversary Teams. . .Born April 9, 1928, in Philadelphia, PA...
Paul Joseph Arizin was born in Philadelphia, PA on April 9, 1928. Arizin had an internal and personal commitment to basketball. Not making his high school team, he practiced constantly at night during his senior year in high school and his freshman year at Villanova University, where he studied Chemistry. Arizin developed a quick, accurate jump shot that made him a prolific scorer. Arizin later explained that the shot came to him by accident, while he was practicing on a gym floor that had been recently waxed for a dance class. He lost his footing when he tried a hook shot, so he went to the jump shot instead and never turned back. During his freshman year, Wildcats' Coach Al Severence offered Arizin a scholarship during his sophomore year. After joining the team and adapting to collegiate ball, Arizin finished his sophomore year as the team leader in scoring. As a junior, Arizin would once again lead the Wildcats in scoring and once scored 85 points in a game. He led the nation in scoring with 25.3 points per game as a senior, earning him All-American honors and the Sporting News College Player of the Year in 1950.
Arizin was the first draft choice of the Philadelphia Warriors in the 1950 NBA draft and would spark the Warriors to return to the top of the Eastern Division. He would go on to lead the league in scoring during the 1951-52 season with 25.4 points per game, earning him a trip to the All-Star Game and being named the game's MVP. After his second season as a pro, the Korean War interrupted his professional basketball career when he was drafted into the Marine Corps. Arizin served in the Marine Corps from 1952 to 1954 as a bookkeeper at Marine Corps Schools Quantico, VA.
After his discharge as a Sergeant in 1954, Arizin returned to the Warriors, who had posted abysmal records of 12-57 and 29-43 during his absence, and led the Warriors to an NBA title in 1956. Arizin led the league in scoring for a second time with a 25.6 average during the 1956-57 season.
In ten seasons with Philadelphia, he was selected to the NBA All-Star Team each year, named to the All-NBA First Team three times and Second Team once. When the Warriors moved to San Francisco, Arizin stayed behind and retired from the sport in 1962, but would return to the court for three more seasons with the Eastern Basketball League's Camden Bullets.
Arizin was the third player in NBA history to score more than 15,000 points with 16,266, averaging 22.6 points per game. Arizin was named to the NBA 25th Anniversary team in 1971, and the NBA 50th Anniversary team in 1996. In 1978, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame along side former teammate and fellow Marine "Jumpin'" Joe Fulks.