November 11, 1937|
Brooklyn, New York
|Died||July 9, 2004
Los Angeles, California
|Listed height||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)|
|Listed weight||220 lb (100 kg)|
|High school||James Madison
(Brooklyn, New York)
|NBA draft||1959 / Round: 2 / Pick: 10th overall|
|Selected by the Minneapolis Lakers|
|Position||Power forward / Center|
|1959–1967||Minneapolis / Los Angeles Lakers|
|1967–1969||San Francisco Warriors|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Points||11,507 (16.9 ppg)|
|Rebounds||6,936 (10.2 rpg)|
|Assists||1,556 (2.3 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
LaRusso was Jewish, and was born in Brooklyn, New York. He attended James Madison High School in Brooklyn. LaRusso, whose mother was Jewish and father was Italian, won All-City honors and was later inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame. He attended and graduated from Dartmouth College. In 1959, playing for Dartmouth, he grabbed 32 rebounds in a game against Columbia, tying an Ivy League record. He also set Dartmouth records for rebounds in a season (503) and career (1,239), and was twice named All-Ivy League.
He was taken by the Minneapolis Lakers in the second round of the 1959 NBA draft out of Dartmouth College, and played eight years with them and two for the San Francisco Warriors. He was a five-time All-Star and was known for his rebounding, tight defense, toughness, and presence.
In 1962 he scored 50 points, at that point the most ever by a Jewish NBA basketball player, in a game for the Lakers against the St. Louis Hawks. In 1967–68, he finished seventh in the league with a career-best average of 21.8 ppg.
LaRusso had a small cameo role in the Gilligan's Island third-season episode "Bang! Bang! Bang!" as 'Agent Michaels'.
He died of Parkinson's disease in 2004.
- Crowe, Jerry (2004-07-10). "Rudy LaRusso, 66; Played on 1st L.A. Laker Team". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-08-25.
- Springer, S.; Sharman, B. (2012). 100 Things Lakers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. Triumph Books. p. 38. ISBN 9781617495847. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
- Lazenby, R. (2010). Jerry West: The Life and Legend of a Basketball Icon. Random House Publishing Group. p. 229. ISBN 9780345519269. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
- "LaRusso, Rudy : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum". jewsinsports.org. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
- Horvitz, P.S. (2007). The Big Book of Jewish Sports Heroes: An Illustrated Compendium of Sports History and the 150 Greatest Jewish Sports Stars. SPI Books. p. 146. ISBN 9781561719075. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
- The Los Angeles Lakers Encyclopedia - Richard J. Shmelter - Google Books
- Wechsler, B. (2008). Day by Day in Jewish Sports History. KTAV Publishing House. p. 74. ISBN 9781602800137. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
- Career statistics and player information from Basketball-Reference.com