Admittedly, this is not my story to tell.
It all began in 1998, when Dale Earnhardt won the Daytona 500 for the only time in his legendary career. The day before that race, a girl named Wessa Miller gave Earnhardt a lucky penny. He glued it to his dash on the spot, and the next day, that penny was in the car as Earnhardt crossed the finish line.
Johnny Moore, NCSHOF Board of Director and former Duke Sports Information, shares memories and history about Duke athletes that are also members of the NCSHOF. Today's article is about one of the great Duke basketball players.
Jack Marin was fundamentally one of the best players to ever play at Duke. A pure shooter, Marin had a solid grasp of every phase of the game of basketball. While he was known as a prolific scorer, what he could truly do was win. In his 86 game career in Durham the Blue Devils complied a 72-14 record, finished first in the ACC all three years, won two ACC Tournaments and played in the Final Four twice.
A native of Farrell, Pa., Marin came off the bench his sophomore season and averaged 14.9 points per game. It would be his junior and senior seasons when he would really shine. He put together a handful of 30 point games in those two years, including a 35-point performance against Notre Dame, a career high 36 points versus Wake Forest and a 30-point effort in a win in Detroit over Cazzie Russell and Michigan.
In one stretch of his junior season, over a 17 day period, Marin tallied three games of over 30 points, and three games with over 20 points, scoring 15 against South Carolina in the seventh game. During the stretch he hit 80-of-117 from the floor and Duke captured all seven games.
He was a two-time All-ACC performer, second team All-America and led the team in scoring his senior year. His junior year he was second on the team in scoring while leading the ACC in field goal shooting at 54.6 percent, despite being a long-range shooter.
One of his best games came in his next to last game as a Blue Devil in the semifinals of the 1966 Final Four at Cole Field House in Maryland. Marin poured in 29 points as the Blue Devil lost a four point decision to No.1 ranked Kentucky. Marin was trying to take over the scoring duties from his ill-teammate Bob Verga, but also had to guard Wildcat forward Pat Riley, who he held to 19 points.
The 5th pick of the 1966 NBA Draft by the Baltimore Bullets, Marin spent 11 season in the NBA from 1966 to 1977 playing for the Baltimore Bullets, Houston Rockets, Buffalo Braves and Chicago Bulls. He was named to the 1967 NBA All-Rookie team and was a two time member of the NBA All-Star team. He scored 12,541 points in his career and led the NBA in free throw percentage during the 1971-72 season. He was involved in a well-known trade, being sent to the Houston Rockets for Elvin Hayes.
Marin was one of the best free throw shooters ever in the NBA, hitting 84 percent for his career. 1972 was his best single season as he averaged 22.3 points per game and was named to the NBA All-Star team. He appeared in the playoffs seven of his 11 years in the NBA, playing in 51 post-season games. In 1971, he and his Baltimore Bullets played Lew Alcindor and the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Finals. The Bucks swept the series and won the title, while Marin played very well averaging 20.6 points per game in 18 playoff games that season.
Marin had every intention of going to medical school following his college career, but put it off to head to the NBA. Following his retirement from professional basketball he came back to Duke and did not enter medical school, but instead enrolled in law school where he finished in 1980 and began practice. Several years into his law practice he started representing players, specializing in helping American players secure jobs in foreign leagues. He has also served as an outside counsel to the NBA Players Association.
His incredible athletic career has seen him elected to North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Duke Sports halls of fame.
Along with his law practice, Marin served for three years, from 1998-2000, as the executive director of the Celebrity Players Tour, a professional golf circuit for notable ex-pro athletes and entertainers. During his tenure, the tour grew from five to 15 events that support various charities around the country. He has been a playing member and has served on its board of directors. He is currently involved with the United States Marine Corps and Hope for the Warriors, a non-profit based out of Jacksonville, N.C. He teaches golf and other sports activities to United States Marines who have severely wounded in combat.
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