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June HOF Member of the Month - Henry Logan

By NCSHOF, 06/23/20, 1:00PM EDT


The records Henry Logan set while playing basketball at Western Carolina in the mid-1960s are nothing shy of mind-boggling.

Perhaps what is most impressive, though, is that no other Catamount player has even come close to approaching the 3,290 points he scored or the 1,037 assists he dished out. Logan scored 1,270 more points and made 390 more assists than the man in second in either category.

The 6-foot, 180-pound guard from Asheville, known as a great shooter who also had phenomenal leaping ability, averaged an eye-popping 30.7 points for his career. Logan also scored 50 or more points in six games, including a career-high 60 against Atlantic Christian in 1967. His No. 10 jersey was retired in 2002.

Small wonder, then, that Logan’s biography for the Western Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame calls him the “most heralded” athlete in the school’s history. And to make the story even more compelling, Logan was the first African American to play at a predominantly white college in the Southeast.

“My mother wanted me to burst the color barrier,” Logan told ESPN’s in 2018. “She went out there, loved the school and she said she wanted me to do that because it was all white and it would help black people.”

Logan was also recruited by UNC, Duke and UCLA, among others. He had academic challenges, though, and was essentially illiterate when he left Stephens-Lee High School, the only secondary school for African Americans in five western North Carolina counties.

“I was really afraid someone would say something about me not being able to read and write,” Logan told “But it was never brought up.”

Logan was such an attraction that Western Carolina remodeled its gym to double capacity and local television stations sometimes broadcast the games. But as much as he was accepted in Cullowhee, there were times he endured racial slurs and once was not allowed to dress for a game in Louisiana.

Logan went on to earn NAIA All-American honors, averaging 36.2 points per game as a senior. He played with Wes Unseld on the United States' gold-medal-winning Pan-Am Team in 1967. He once scored 51 points to Pistol Pete Maravich’s 58 in a summer all-star game, too.

Not surprisingly, the pros took notice. Logan was selected in the fourth round of the NBA draft by the Seattle SuperSonics and was also picked by the Oakland Oaks of the American Basketball Association. He signed a three-year contract with the Oaks for $150,000, and played with, among others, Rick Barry.

“We consider him the best college guard in America today,” quoted Oakland coach Bruce Hale as saying. “Henry and Rick Barry will be one of the top combinations in professional basketball.”

Logan’s ABA career was a modest one, though, cut short by a litany of knee injuries that would eventually require 15 surgeries. While he played on the Oaks team that won the 1969 ABA title, he only lasted a total of 108 games over two seasons.

Once back in Asheville, Logan began drinking too much and also became addicted to cough syrup with codeine. The low point came when he was arrested for shoplifting two bottles of the medicine. He told that he attempted suicide.

Logan’s life turned around, though, when he found religion. He even taught himself to read by reading the Bible. He’s been married for more than 30 years.

The former basketball star also added another achievement in 2018 as he was one of 12 recognized by The Heritage Calendar: Celebrating the North Carolina African-American Experience. The publication recognizes those “who have made a lasting impact in North Carolina and across the country.”

Logan was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. He is the NCSHOF Member of the Month for June.