Jack Molinas

Jacob L. "Jack" Molinas (October 31, 1931 – August 3, 1975[1]) was an American professional basketball player and a key figure in one of the most wide-reaching point shaving scandals college basketball.

Jack Molinas
Personal information
Born(1931-10-31)October 31, 1931
New York City, New York
DiedAugust 3, 1975(1975-08-03) (aged 43)
Hollywood, California
Listed height6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Listed weight200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High schoolStuyvesant
(New York City, New York)
CollegeColumbia (1950–1953)
NBA draft1953 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3rd overall
Selected by the Fort Wayne Pistons
Playing career1953–1954
PositionSmall forward / Power forward
Career history
1953–1954Fort Wayne Pistons
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points370 (11.6 ppg)
Rebounds228 (7.1 rpg)
Assists51 (1.6 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com


Early lifeEdit

Molinas grew up in Brooklyn and attended Stuyvesant High School. His parents owned a bar on Coney Island.

Basketball careerEdit

He attended Columbia University from 1950 to 1953 where he played basketball. In the 1952-1953 season he was the captain of Columbia's team and led the team in scoring. In 1953, he set a team record for most points scored in a game—a mark that was eclipsed a few years later by Chet Forte.[2]

The Fort Wayne Pistons drafted him third in the 1953 NBA Draft and played in 32 games before the league banned him for wagering on Pistons games.[3] Molinas was selected for the 1954 NBA All-Star Game but was suspended at the time of the game and was replaced by teammate Andy Phillip. He later sued the NBA for $3 million, claiming the league's ban was an unreasonable restraint of trade. Judge Irving Kaufman ruled against him in the case.[4]

After playing in the minor leagues, he entered the Brooklyn Law School from where he graduated with a law degree. Before his admission to law school, the Bronx County District Attorney investigated his case and concluded that he had not committed a crime. The bar association also reviewed his case and admitted him to the New York Bar.[3]

Match fixingEdit

Molinas became the central figure in the 1961 point-shaving scandal. The gambling ring went on from 1957 to 1960 and involved 50 players from 27 colleges.[5] Two of the most notable players ensnared in the scandal were future Hall of Famers Connie Hawkins and Roger Brown. Molinas gave Hawkins $250 during his freshman year at Iowa, but never encouraged him to throw games. Although Molinas never implicated Hawkins in any way, both Hawkins and Brown were effectively blackballed from both collegiate and professional basketball, until signing with the upstart American Basketball Association in 1967. Hawkins also played in the ABL for its entire existence, 1961–63, and afterwards appealed towards the NBA in allowing him to play again, starting in 1969 with the Phoenix Suns. Meanwhile, Brown spent his entire professional career in the rival ABA, leading the Indianapolis Pacers to three ABA titles before retiring from basketball in 1975; the Indiana Pacers retired his number (#35) on November 2, 1985.

In 1963, Molinas was convicted for his role in the scheme and was sentenced to 10 to 15 years in prison. He was paroled in 1968 after serving five years.[5][6] Molinas was said to have contacts with New York City mobster Thomas Eboli.[2]

In 1973, authorities arrested and charged him with interstate shipment of pornography. He was due to stand trial on those charges at the time of his death.


At 2:00 AM on August 3, 1975 at age 43, Molinas was killed while standing in the backyard of his home in Los Angeles. Eugene Connor fired five shots while standing in the yard of Molinas' neighbor using a long barreled .22 caliber pistol steadied on the fence. Molinas was hit in the neck, and his girlfriend and dog were both wounded as well.[7][8]

Police did not rule out a mob-related murder.[2] His business partner Bernard Gusoff had been beaten to death In November 1974.[5]

NBA career statisticsEdit

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular seasonEdit

1953–54 Fort Wayne 32 29.9 .390 .759 7.1 1.6 11.6
Career 32 29.9 .390 .759 7.1 1.6 11.6

See alsoEdit


  • Rosen, Charley (2003). The Wizard of Odds: How Jack Molinas Almost Destroyed the Game of Basketball. New York: Seven Stories Press. ISBN 1-58322-562-5.
  1. ^ "Molinas, Jack". JewsinSports.org. Retrieved 2008-03-12.
  2. ^ a b c Konigsberg, Eric (2002-03-03). "Double Dribbling". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-11-02.
  3. ^ a b "Molinas Presses $3,000,000 Case; Ex-Court Ace Sues N.B.A. for Banning Him After He Bet on Own Team". New York Times. 1961-01-03.
  4. ^ "Molinas Loses Antitrust Suit". New York Times. 1961-01-12.
  5. ^ a b c "Molinas's Past Sifted For Clues". New York Times. 1975-08-06.
  6. ^ Goldstein, Joe (November 19, 2003). "Explosion II: The Molinas period". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  7. ^ "ESPN Classic - Explosion II: The Molinas period". www.espn.com. Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  8. ^ Kudler, Adrian Glick (2011-08-16). "House Where Point Shaver/Pornographer Jack Molinas Was Killed". Curbed LA. Retrieved 2019-05-21.