Gene Melchiorre played guard for Bradley University starting in the 1947-48 season till the 1950-51 season. Standing only 5'8 and weighing 175 lbs, but he was famous for his passing abilities and his ability to score almost at will. During his tenure, Bradley won an astounding 119 games while losing only 22. He participated in both the NIT and NCAA Tournament in 1950, in which Bradly lost to CCNY in both games. During one NIT game in 1949, Melchiorre scored an astounding 71 points, a tournament record that stands to this day.

He was named to the Missouri Valley Conference first team three times, and in his junior year made the all-NIT team. For the 1951 season, he was an Associated Press, United Press International and Colliers Magazine first team All-American and selected by the magazine, Sports Album, as one of the two best offensive players in the country [1]. He also was a letter-winner on the Bradley baseball team, and he received a degree in business administration.

Point Shaving Scandal

Melchiorre was involved in a massive point shaving scandal that in 1951 which brought seven schools and 32 players from around the US to face charges on violations of the New York state penal code. On July 24, 1951, Melchiorre and four of his teammates admitted to taking bribes to hold down scores against St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia in 1951 and against Oregon State University in Chicago [2].

Melchiorre and two of his teammates pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in New York. Though the players faced three years jailtime, the assistant District Attorney praised the threesome's cooperation, giving them a suspended sentence.


Upon his completion of four years at Bradley and a suspended sentence for the point shaving scandal, Melchiorre entered the 1951 NBA Draft. He was selected as the first overall pick in the draft by the Baltimore Bullets. Melchiorre would never play a minute of NBA basketball though. His involvement in the scandal banned him for life from the NBA and involvement in any NCAA honors.




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Gene Melchiorre

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