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1973 – Nathaniel Echols*

1973 Eastern Athletic Association of the Deaf, Inc. (EAAD) – Hall of Fame
1963 American Athletic Association of the Deaf, Inc. (AAAD) – Hall of Fame

Buffalo Association of the Deaf
1973 – Nathaniel Echols *Deceased.

The brainy 5´5” forward Nate was called “The Flash” – the fastest, most agile and best seasoned basketball player ever to step on the court in the EAAD and AAAD tournaments.   The captain was a splendid sportsman and the most picturesque star of entire tournaments.   He was a crowd pleaser with his wizardly ball handling.   A player-coach Nate was called by many Mr. Deaf Basketball because of not only an all-around basketball player but his endowment with rare basketball sense and strategy.   For that,
he was picked the captain of his team for years.   In 1950, Nate was named the greatest deaf basketball player of the last fifty years by The Silent Worker and Athlete of the Year by the AAAD in 1944.   During his early days, the St. Mary´s School for the Deaf product played basketball for four different teams in a season, sometimes four nights a week.   Nate was a member of the famed Wooley Bus team that garnered two Amateur Athletic Union titles.   He starred in two EAAD finals in which his Buffalo five won in 1947 and 1948.  He was selected to the region team all-stars three times and was awarded the individual sportsmanship trophy in the 1949 EAAD classic.   In the 1945, AAAD championship game with 45 seconds left to go, Akron was leading by a point.   The husky Nate stole the ball and dunked it for what proved to be the championship basket for Buffalo, 52–51. Only eight player on the buffalo team, Nate coached and played that won the 1948 AAAD national championship.   He was named AAAD team all-stars four appearances running.   Playing in the 1955 EAAD at the age of 36, he was still a great competitor.

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