Former NBA Player Inducted into Halls of Fame
FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine’s advisory board member and donor Jack Laub was recently inducted into the James P. Kelly University of Cincinnati Athletics Hall of Fame and the Brooklyn Jewish Hall of Fame.
Photo Credit: University of Cincinnati
Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine’s advisory board member and donor Jack Laub was recently inducted into the Brooklyn Jewish Hall of Fame and the James P. Kelly University of Cincinnati Athletics Hall of Fame. A World War II veteran, a former professional basketball player, as well as a successful businessman, Laub was honored for his distinguished career and numerous contributions as a humanitarian. He was one of four former student-athletes inducted by the University of Cincinnati (UC) and one of 10 honorees inducted into the Brooklyn Jewish Hall of Fame. Laub also is an inductee in the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, as well as the City College of New York’s Basketball Hall of Fame, where he played for two years.
Laub has served as a member of FAU’s medical school’s advisory board since 2011, and has funded a scholarship for medical students who are interested in breast cancer research. He also has provided funding for biomedical research into breast cancer metastasis under the direction of Vijaya Iragavarapu, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical science in FAU’s College of Medicine. Laub’s support of Iragavarapu’s research projects is helping to advance her work on identifying pathways and developing therapeutics in the fight against breast cancer.
“Jack is one of our most esteemed and valued board members, whose generous heart and philanthropic endeavors have touched countless lives,” said Arthur J. Ross, III, M.D., M.B.A., interim dean and professor, FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine. “He has received numerous accolades throughout his distinguished career, and his recent induction into the Brooklyn Jewish Hall of Fame and the James P. Kelly University of Cincinnati Athletics Hall of Fame is yet another tribute for his service and extraordinary talents.”
After graduating high school, Laub served in the merchant marine during World War II, where he was commissioned as an ensign officer in maritime service, and later discharged as a lieutenant of senior grade. After the war, Laub pursued getting a basketball scholarship with the hopes of preparing for medical school. He received a four-year scholarship from UC, turning down offers from both George Washington University and Yale University, and played at UC from 1947-50. He is the only student-athlete in NCAA history to play six varsity years. He helped lead the Bearcats to four consecutive Mid-American Conference titles and a combined 77-27 record.
While at UC, Laub became known as the “Black Cat,” as he played with other returning World War II veterans, contributing to the team’s winning of four conference championships. This team put UC on the basketball map as they were in the top teams in the country. Because of his talent, he was appointed by coach John Wiethe to serve as assistant coach and later as head scout for the UC team, after he completed his bachelor’s degree in psychology at age 24. Laub helped lead the team into its first appearance in the National Invitation Tournament in 1951.
Laub became one of the first professional basketball players in the NBA after he was drafted by the Baltimore Bullets, traded to the Minneapolis Lakers and later acquired by the Scranton Miners, who won two championships during his tenure.
In 1954, Laub joined Pfizer and went on to work in the pharmaceutical industry for more than five decades. He has devoted his business career to reducing prescription drug costs for consumers, and opened the first discount drug store chain in the New York area, and later helped open the first mail-order pharmacy. In May 2010, the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences at UC honored him with the Distinguished Alumni Award for his contributions to the reduction of prescription drug costs for consumers, hospitals and insurance companies in the U.S.
More recently, Laub was conferred the honor of “Chevalier” of the Legion of Honor by the President of the French Republic, in recognition of his contribution to the United States’ crucial role in the liberation of France during World War II.
“I am honored to be affiliated with FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, and it brings me great satisfaction to be able to support the College’s outstanding medical students as well as the lifesaving research that is taking place there,” said Laub.