Ex-Celtic, Buckeye Siegfried dead at 71
Former Ohio State star Larry Siegfried, who helped the Buckeyes
to their only championship in 1960 and won five NBA titles in seven
years with the Boston Celtics, died Thursday night. He was 71.
Siegfried had been at the Cleveland Clinic since suffering a
heart attack on Oct. 5, said Lesli Barkdull Neal, owner and funeral
director at Barkdull Funeral Home in Shelby.
The Celtics won five titles from 1964 to ’69 with Siegfried
A native of Shelby, a small community between Cleveland and
Columbus, Siegfried was captain and MVP of the 1960-61 Ohio State
team and was a second-team All-American. A No. 3 pick in the draft
by the Cincinnati Royals, he played two seasons in the American
Basketball Association with the Cleveland Pipers before joining
Bill Russell and former Ohio State teammate John Havlicek with the
His scoring average was in the double figures for the Celtics
each year from 1965-66 to 1969-70. In the 1968-69 season, he
averaged a career-best 14.2 points a game along with 3.6 rebounds
and 4.7 assists.
He finished out his career playing for San Diego, Houston and
Atlanta, finishing with almost 6,000 NBA points.
He later coached, counseled prisoners at the Mansfield
Correctional Institution and did motivational speaking.
Siegfried returned to Ohio State this spring for the 50th
anniversary celebration of his alma mater’s title.
At that time, he said he didn’t live in the past. He said his
greatest joys reflecting on his college career were the life
lessons he learned from head coach Fred Taylor and the friendships
he had with teammates.
”As time goes on, the championship does not mean as much to
me,” Siegfried said. ”The thing that matters to me is what coach
Taylor taught us and the relationships, those intangible things.
The core values that made me who I am today, that’s what’s
important to me.”
Siegfried scored 1,228 points at Ohio State, ranking him 27th on
the school’s all-time scoring list. He had led the Buckeyes in
scoring, averaging 19.6 points a game, during his sophomore
But one of the greatest recruiting classes ever in college
basketball – including Jerry Lucas and John Havlicek – joined the
team the next year and Siegfried became a standout supporting
His .819 free-throw percentage (340 of 415) is the fifth-best at
Ohio State. He hit 86 percent at the line (123 of 143) as a senior
Siegfried is survived by his wife, Tina, three daughters, a
son-in-law and a grandson.
Current Ohio State coach Thad Matta issued a statement on
”Our basketball program has lost one of its finest members,”
Matta said. ”His legacy at Ohio State and as a professional is so
impressive. He was a player that could do it all and it was a
thrill to have him around our team during the 1960 championship
celebration weekend last year. Our hearts go out to his entire