Grady Wallace

Grady A. Wallace (January 20, 1934 – August 17, 2006) was an All-American basketball player for the South Carolina Gamecocks in 1955–56 and 1956–57. As a senior in 1957, Wallace led the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in scoring with 31.3 points per game (ppg), which edged out future Naismith Basketball Hall of Famers Elgin Baylor (29.7) and Wilt Chamberlain (29.6).[1]

Grady Wallace
Personal information
Born(1934-01-20)January 20, 1934
Floyd County, Kentucky
DiedAugust 17, 2006(2006-08-17) (aged 72)
Columbia, South Carolina
Listed height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight165 lb (75 kg)
Career information
High schoolBetsy Layne (Betsy Layne, Kentucky)
NBA draft1957 / Round: 5 / Pick: 40th overall
Selected by the Boston Celtics
Number14, 42
Career highlights and awards

Wallace was born in Mare Creek (now called Stanville), Kentucky, the son of Rufus and Sudie (Smith) Wallace.[2] He was raised in Betsy Layne in Floyd County and attended Betsy Layne High School from 1949 to 1953.

He spent two years at Pikeville Junior College in his home state of Kentucky before enrolling at the University of South Carolina.[1]

In Wallace's junior season of college, his first with the Gamecocks, he averaged 23.9 ppg.[3] He scored a school record 54 points against Georgia on December 21, 1956 (John Roche would later score 56 in 1971) and owns four of the top six single-game scoring outputs in USC history.[4] His career average of 28.0 ppg is the highest in school history, and his career rebound average of over 12 per game is the second highest.[5]

Wallace was selected by the Boston Celtics in the 1957 NBA Draft in the fifth round (40th pick overall) but never played professionally.[6] After college, he played two seasons with the industrial league Phillips 66ers. He later coached at Cardinal Newman High School in South Carolina for nine seasons, leading the team to two state titles.[7]

He would later become the first men's basketball player in USC history to have his jersey number retired.[3] Wallace died of heart failure in Columbia, South Carolina on August 17, 2006 at the age of 72.[8] Survivors included his wife, Janet, children Leigh Ann and Thomas, and three grandchildren.[2]

See also


  1. Price, Tom (2001). Tales from the Gamecocks' Roost. United States: Sports Publishing, LLC. pp. 123–125. ISBN 1-58261-342-7.
  3. Spear, Bob (February 24, 2008). "Grady Wallace – Scoring's silent partner". Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved August 19, 2010.
  4. Compton, Sheldon (August 24, 2006). "Basketball legend Grady Wallace dies at age 71". Pikeville Medical Center. Archived from the original on October 2, 2011. Retrieved August 19, 2010.
  5. "University of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame: Grady Wallace (1968)". USC Association of Lettermen. 2009. Retrieved August 19, 2010.
  6. "1957 NBA Draft". Sports Reference LLC. 2010. Retrieved August 19, 2010.
  7. LeMaster, Steve (July 14, 2013). "Betsy Layne to honor Wallace as first inductee into Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on March 4, 2014. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  8. "August Obits 2006 – Grady A. Wallace". Floyd County Times. 2006. Retrieved August 19, 2010.