Sept. 17, 2012
QUEENS, N.Y. - A founding father of the BIG EAST Conference and a former President of the NIT Committee, St. John's legend John W. "Jack" Kaiser will be inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame on Thursday at the New York Athletic Club. Kaiser, who will be inducted as a Contributor to the Game, will become the 33rd member of the St. John's family to enter the NYC Basketball Hall of Fame
"I am tremendously honored to be inducted into the NYC Basketball Hall of Fame," said Kaiser. "It is humbling to know that I will join such prestigious company as a contributor to the New York City basketball scene, one of the hotbeds of basketball from the very beginning."
Kaiser is one of eight inductees in the Class of 2012, a group that includes: Ricky Sobers, a Bronx native and 11-year NBA veteran; Ray Felix, a former No. 1 overall NBA draft pick out of LIU; former Knick and seven-year NBA veteran Connie Simmons; former Rice H.S. and Fordham standout Charlie Yelverton; Don "Red" Goldstein, a Brooklyn native and former All-American at Louisville; Charles Granby, the first PSAL coach to reach 700 wins, and longtime NBA referee Dick Bavetta.
A member of the CHSAA, NIT, St. John's University Athletic and Basketball Old Timers of America Halls of Fame, Kaiser has roots in New York City basketball that date back to 1940 when he enrolled at St. John's prep as a three-sport athlete playing basketball as well as football and baseball.
Kaiser went on to attend St. John's University and played basketball for two seasons, counting Lou Carnesecca as a teammate and playing for coaches Joe Lapchick and Dusty DeStefano.
Kaiser began his coaching career as the head basketball coach for both the varsity and freshman teams at Brooklyn Prep. Kaiser then returned to St. John's and spent the next 15 years serving in various coaching roles, including head coach of the junior varsity and freshman teams and assistant coach of the varsity squad.
Following his coaching career, Kaiser served as the Athletic Director at St. John's from 1973-95. In his first year as Athletic Director, Kaiser became President of the NIT Committee and held the position until 1988. Kaiser remained a member of the NIT Committee until 1995 before becoming a consultant for both the preseason and postseason events.
Six years into his tenure as A.D., Kaiser became one of the founding fathers of the BIG EAST Conference and later served on both the Conference's television and athletic awards committees.
The inaugural recipient of the Joe Lapchick Leadership Appreciation Award in 2009, Kaiser helped foster the Joe Lapchick Character Awards Program to recognize basketball coaches who have shown character traits and coaching skills of the Hall of Famer.
Kaiser currently serves St. John's in the role of Athletic Director Emeritus, while also assisting student-athletes with internship and career opportunities.