Jackie Giloon, one of Hudson’s basketball greats, dies at 65

In a hotbed of high school basketball talent, he was the point guard by whom everyone else was compared.

He shaped his game after the electric style of Hall of Famer “Pistol” Pete Maravich, but Jackie Gilloon, who played at Memorial High School in West New York and the University of South Carolina, was made. a name.

Giloon, who went on to teach in the Western New York School District, died on January 5 at the age of 65.

Hudson County has produced its share of great college and NBA players, and Gilloon is arguably still one of the best handful of them all.

“He was the best goalie and the most entertaining player of his time,” said Hall of Fame basketball coach Bob Hurley. “Through the ’60s,’ 70s and into the ’80s every player was compared to Jackie Gilloon. (David) Rivers (a first-round pick in the 1988 NBA Draft) was my first real good point guard. … Everyone would say, “The rivers showed lightning. It makes you think of Jackie Giloon.

Giloon, who was inducted into the Hudson County Hall of Fame in 2002, played for Memorial from 1971 to 1974 and led the Tigers to three consecutive North Hudson Championships and the Hudson County Championship in 1973.

“He was a big, big, big player,” said Rep. Albio Sires, a star basketball player at Memorial High just before Gilloon arrived there. “He weighed 150 soaked pounds, but he could do things with a ball that were magical. He frustrated all the players he played against.

Hurley said that when teams pressed Gilloon and tried to get physical with him because of his size, Gilloon responded by “going through the (defender) then wait until he catches up, then he would miss out. from him again “.

After averaging 25 points per game as a senior and being named to the Parade All-America squad, Gillion played in South Carolina for Hall of Fame coach Frank McGuire. At USC, Gilloon finished with 1,125 points and led the Gamecocks in assists over the four years.

He was drafted by the Denver Nuggets from the NBA and played professionally in Argentina for four years.

“Good practice and early learning of the game,” Giloon said of his skills in an interview in 2008. “Fill in the middle during the break and know when to prepare the dish. Of course, playing with guys like I did (in South Carolina) – Alex English, Mike Dunleavy and the rest – didn’t hurt. We had great players all around me.

Gilloon “played the game with glee and a recklessness that at times drove (McGuire) crazy, but he was as focused and intense as anyone you would ever have encountered on the pitch and in training,” Doug Jolley, who wrote for School’s Gamecock. newspaper, said in a Facebook post. “When it was time to relax, then he was just one of the guys.”

Already, a Change.org petition has been created to rename the Memorial High School gymnasium in honor of Gilloon.

A post on Memorial Alumni’s Facebook page paid tribute to the star.

“Jackie was without a doubt the best I have ever watched play and what a spectacle he put on in every game. He lit the court and was unstoppable. Besides being a great player, I was fortunate enough to to be able to call him my friend Rest well Jackie, know that everyone loved you Thank you for the memories my friend.

Clipping from the Jersey Journal of a February 6, 1974 Memorial High School victory over Emerson. Giloon scored 23 in the game.EJA

Comments are closed.