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Red Rocha

Red Rocha
Personal information
Born (1923-09-18)September 18, 1923
Hilo, Hawaii
Died February 13, 2010(2010-02-13) (aged 86)
Corvallis, Oregon
Nationality American
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Career information
High school Hilo (Hilo, Hawaii)
College Oregon State (1944–1947)
NBA draft 1947 / Round: -- / Pick: --
Selected by the Toronto Huskies
Pro career 1947–1957
Position Center / Forward
Number 4, 6, 16
Career history
As player:
19471950 St. Louis Bombers
1950–1951 Baltimore Bullets
19511956 Syracuse Nationals
1956–1957 Fort Wayne Pistons
As coach:
19571960 Detroit Pistons
1963–1973 Hawaii (NCAA)
Career highlights and awards
Career BAA and NBA statistics
Points 6,362 (10.9 ppg)
Rebounds 2,747 (6.6 rpg)
Assists 1,153 (2.0 apg)
Stats at

Ephraim J. "Red" Rocha (September 18, 1923 – February 13, 2010[1]) was a professional basketball player and coach.


A 6'9" center from Oregon State University, he earned All-Pacific Coast Conference honors in 1945, 1946, and 1947. He was also selected as a 1947 All-American.

Rocha played in the BAA and NBA in the late 1940s and early 1950s. He represented the Baltimore Bullets in the 1951 NBA All-Star Game, the first NBA All-Star Game.[2] Rocha had 6,362 career points in the NBA and won an NBA title with the Syracuse Nationals in 1955.[2] The first person from Hawaii to play in the NBA,[3][4] Rocha still shares, with former teammate Paul Seymour, the NBA record for most minutes in a playoff game with 67.[5]

After his playing days he became a coach, including head coach of the Detroit Pistons from 1958 to 1960.[2] Rocha also coached the Hawaii Chiefs of the American Basketball League.[6] Rocha then became head coach for the University of Hawaii men's basketball team.[2] At UH, he assembled what is known today as the "Fabulous Five" during the 1970 to 1972 seasons. In 1970, the team advanced to postseason play for the first time in school history. Red also co-founded the Rainbow Classic — an eight-team collegiate men's basketball tournament, with UH hosting the tournament.

Later years

He was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1980, and into the Oregon State University Sports Hall of Fame in 1990. Ephraim "Red" Rocha died from cancer on February 13, 2010, in Corvallis, Oregon, at the age of 86.[3]


  1. ^ McInnes, Brian (February 13, 2010). "Former UH basketball coach Red Rocha dies". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Legendary Hoop Star Red Rocha, Tower of the ‘Thrill Kids,’ Dies" (PDF). Oregon Stater (OSU Alumni Association) 95 (2): 32. Spring 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Buker, Paul (February 15, 2010). "R.I.P. Red Rocha, whose life at OSU as a "Thrill Kid" and in the NBA was right out of a movie script". The Oregonian. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  4. ^ Cedric Ceballos was also born in Hawaii, but went to high school in California, whereas Rocha also went to high school in Hawaii. "Red Rocha NBA & ABA Statistics". Sports Reference, LLC. 2012-09-18. 
  5. ^ "A March Marathon – Flashback: 1953's Four-OT Thriller - Boston Celtics vs. Syracuse Nationals". Basketball Digest. March 2003. [dead link]
  6. ^ Association for Professional Basketball Research American Basketball League page

External links

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