Brooklyn Campus What's New  

Press Releases

Legendary Basketball Coach Clair Bee is Focus
Of Free Conference at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus

"Bee-Ball: The Coaching, Teaching & Sports Writing Legacy of Clair Bee"

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Coaching legend Clair F. Bee, whose innovations on the hardcourt earned him the nickname “Mr. Basketball,” is the subject of a one-day conference at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus in February.

College basketball Hall of Fame Coach Lou Carnesecca and members of Coach Bee’s family will be among the panelists at the free event, “Bee-Ball: The Coaching, Teaching & Sports Writing Legacy of Clair Bee,” which will take place on Friday, February 5, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Campus’s Schwartz Athletic Center, formerly the Brooklyn Paramount Theater, in downtown Brooklyn. The conference is free and open to the public.

The inventor of the 3-second rule, the 1-3-1 zone defense and the 24-second shot clock in the National Basketball Association, Bee (1896-1983) led Long Island University’s Blackbirds to their greatest successes in the 1930s and 1940s.

"Clair Bee fell in love with the game Dr. James Naismith invented and was inarguably one of the top coaches in college basketball," declared anthropology professor Michael Hittman, co-chair of the conference.

Bee, who became Long Island University’s basketball coach in 1932, holds college basketball’s highest lifetime winning percentage of .827, with a record of 357 wins and 79 losses at Long Island University. His Long Island University teams were undefeated in 1935-36 and 1938-39, at one point winning 43 consecutive games and amassing a 222-3 home-court record over a 13-year period. Long Island University won the National Invitation Tournament in 1939 and 1941 with Bee at the helm.

A man of strong principles, Bee stood by his top-ranked Long Island University team when its members boycotted the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany. He resigned from the team in 1951 when some of his players were involved in a point-shaving scandal, and coached the NBA's Baltimore Bullets for three seasons before moving on to direct basketball camps and clinics. A prolific author, he wrote 23 books in the “Chip Hilton” sports fiction series. Bee was inducted into the Basketball Hall Of Fame in 1968.

Other conference panelists include Bee’s grandson, Michael Clair Farley; Melissa Merson, daughter of Leo Merson of the 1936 Blackbirds squad; and author and NBA analyst Charley Rosen.

The conference was made possible by contributions from the McGrath Fund, Mike Farley and members of Clair Bee’s family. Long Island University students can obtain one credit by participating in the conference. For more information, contact professors Michael Hittman at (718) 488-1185 or Eugene Spatz at (718) 780-4563.

The Brooklyn Campus is distinguished by...
dynamic curricula reflecting the great urban community it serves. Distinctive programs encompass the arts and media, the natural sciences, business, social policy, urban education, the health professions and pharmacy, and include the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, the Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics, the D.P.T. in Physical Therapy and the Pharm.D. in Pharmacy. A vibrant urban oasis in downtown Brooklyn, this diverse and thriving campus offers academic excellence, personalized attention, small class size and flexible course schedules. In 2006, a $45-million Wellness, Recreation and Athletic Center was opened to serve the Campus and the surrounding community. In 2007, the Cyber Café was launched, providing a high-tech hot spot for students and faculty members to meet and eat.

Press contact information:
Alka Gupta
Assistant Director of Public Relations, Brooklyn Campus
Phone: 718-488-4137
Fax: 718-780-4046

Posted: January 22, 2010

Long Island University Brooklyn Campus