TANENBAUM, SIDNEY HAROLD ("Sid"; 1925–1986), U.S. basketball player, New York University first team All-American 1946–47, two-time winner of the prestigious Haggerty Award (1946–47), recipient of the Bar Kochba Award for the best Jewish athlete of 1947. A native of Brooklyn, NY, Tanenbaum was a gifted shooter and ball handler first at Thomas Jefferson High School and then NYU, which he helped lead to two NCAA tournament appearances, including a trip to the championship game in 1945. After completing his career as NYU's all-time leading scorer (992 pts.), Tanenbaum played in the NBA's precursor, the BAA, for two seasons, appearing in a total of 70 games with the New York Knicks and Baltimore Bullets. He showed promise, scoring nine points per game while shooting 83 percent from the free throw line, but Tanenbaum – who married right after graduating – chose to cut his professional basketball career short due to the excessive travel. Tanenbaum found work in his father-in-law's metal spinning and stamping shop, eventually becoming the owner, and managed to turn it into a very successful business. It was in this very shop that Tanenbaum was tragically stabbed to death. Bob Gottlieb, long-time friend and coach of the Branch West Recruiting Service, said that "Sid was just a peach of a person; great two-hand set shooter, but an even greater human being. God did not make better people than Sid." Each year, NYU awards its top student-athlete the Sid Tanenbaum Memorial Award. An annual half-court basketball tournament is held in Woodmere, N.Y., in memory of Tanenbaum, who continued to play in pick-up games until his death. A plaque at the entrance to the courts used in the tournament reads: "Sid Tanenbaum Memorial Courts. NYU All-American, New York Knicks. He touched us all."
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.