In 1957 professional basketball was in a buzz about power forward/center Charlie Tyra. Indeed, this was proven unquestionably when the young man received the second overall draft pick in the first round.
Before that exciting day for the tenacious “big man” he was an All-Star at Atherton high school.
And, after that he was an All-American with the University of Louisville. To this day considered one of the greatest Cards of all time, Tyra still holds the record at Louisville for the most rebounds by a player, so it was little surprise when his jersey was retired by the team.
Considered by many to be the man that put Louisville basketball on the map, Tyra led the Cards to a NIT championship when it was the preeminent basketball tournament in America.
After college the young man was a standout in the pros playing most notably with the New York Knicks, as well as the Chicago Packers (today that team is the Washington Wizards), and the Pittsburgh Rens (a short-lived team in the American Basketball League).
Upon his retirement from basketball Tyra went into sales and business back in his hometown, a position he excelled in. Sadly, in late 2006 the 71-year old Tyra passed away due to congestive heart failure.
But, in his time on and off the court he proved his own personal strength and work ethic, his belief in integrity and ethics and along the way he touched the lives of so many fans, players, and peers- there’s no question Charlie Tyra is a Sports legend of the Ville.
Image courtesy of UofL Card Book