Richard Melzer (born December 8, 1979) is an American professional basketball player who has played in the Australian National Basketball League, the German Bundesliga, NBA D-League,[1] Continental Basketball Association, as well as stints in France and Israel. He primarily plays power forward.

Richard Melzer
Personal information
Born (1979-12-08) December 8, 1979 (age 40)
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Listed height6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight224.4 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High schoolRiver Falls (River Falls, Wisconsin)
CollegeWisconsin–River Falls (2000–2004)
NBA draft2004 / Undrafted
Playing career2004–2012
PositionPower forward / Center
Career history
2004–2005Sioux Falls Skyforce
2005Club San Carlos
2005–2006New Zealand Breakers
2006Albuquerque Thunderbirds
2006ASVEL Basket
2006JL Bourg-en-Bresse
2007Hapoel Gilboa/Afula
2007Artland Dragons
2009–2010Cairns Taipans
2010Rio Grande Valley Vipers
2010–2011Hapoel Holon
2011–2012New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig
2012Le Portel
Career highlights and awards

Melzer was named NCAA Division III Player of the Year[2] by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the D-III News as a senior at Wisconsin–River Falls. He earned First Team All-America honours from the NABC his junior and senior seasons. He was named All-WIAC his last three seasons and was named league MVP his final two years and finished his career as the school's second all-time leading scorer with 2, 363 points, the third all-time leading rebounder with 821 boards, and the all-time leading shot-blocker with 186 rejections.

Melzer has spent time trying out with the NBA's Washington Wizards, Chicago Bulls and the Orlando Magic in the last two years. He also earned a spot on the San Antonio Spurs but was not named to the team's final roster. He led the Sioux Falls Skyforce to the Continental Basketball Association Championship in 2005. He also won a title with San Carlos in the Dominican Republic League and was voted MVP of the National Finals.

Melzer spent the 2005-06 season with the New Zealand Breakers of the NBL,[3] earning NBL Player of the Week in Week 20.

On July 14, 2006, Melzler signed a two-year contract with the San Antonio Spurs.[4] He appeared in four preseason games, averaging 2.8 points in 7.8 minutes. He was released by the Spurs on October 20, 2006.[5]

Melzer signed a month contract with ASVEL Villeurbanne of France, before moving to play in Hapoel Gilboa/Afula of Israel in January, 2007.

Melzer is a 1999 graduate of River Falls High School in Wisconsin. His brother Michael Grinnell is also a basketball prospect. Grinnell is playing for Carleton College in Minnesota since the Fall of 2008.

Melzer also played for Artland Dragons in the German Bundesliga.

In July, 2009, it was announced that Melzer would return to Australia, to play for the Cairns Taipans. He again won a Player of the Week award, but his form declined during the year[6] and he returned to the United States to play for Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the NBA Development League.[7][8]

Prior to the 2010–11 season Melzer returned to Israel, and signed with Hapoel Holon, which is coached by Dani Franco (who coach him when he played for Hapoel Gilboa/Afula).

In June 2011, he signed a contract with the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig in the German Bundesliga.[9]

Rich is now coaching youth basketball, as well as making guest appearances on local sports television and radio shows.


  1. ^ Basketball Reference
  2. ^ D-League Dreamers
  3. ^ "Basketball: Breakers sign US import". The New Zealand Herald. 9 August 2005. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
  4. ^ Spurs Sign Rich Melzer To Two Year Deal
  5. ^ Spurs Release Famutimi, Melzer And Reiner
  6. ^ Melzer under pressure as Cairns Taipans flag changes
  7. ^ Vipers Acquire Ex-Spur and NBA D-League Champion
  8. ^ Rockets' D-League affiliate Vipers capture first title
  9. ^ New Yorker land Melzer and waive Goree

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