Frank Vernon Ramsey, Jr. (born July 13, 1931 in Corydon, Kentucky) played his entire nine-year (1954–64) NBA career with the Boston Celtics and played a major role in the early part of their dynasty, winning seven championship rings. Ramsey was also a head coach for the Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association (ABA) during the 1970–71 season.
University of Kentucky Years
Ramsey played college basketball at the University of Kentucky under legendary coach Adolph Rupp. As a sophomore in 1951 he helped Kentucky win the NCAA Championship with a 68-58 victory over Kansas State.
In the fall of 1952, a point-shaving scandal involving three Kentucky players (one of whom was a teammate of Ramsey on Kentucky’s 1951 NCAA champions) over a four-year period forced Kentucky to forfeit its upcoming season, Ramsey’s senior year. The suspension of the season made Kentucky's basketball team, in effect, the first college sports team to get the "death penalty." Had the NCAA allowed Kentucky to play, the Wildcats, led by Ramsey and another future NBA star, Cliff Hagan, would likely have won their fourth NCAA title in six seasons.
Ramsey graduated from Kentucky in 1953 and, as a result, became eligible for the NBA Draft. After being selected by the Boston Celtics in the first round, Ramsey stayed at Kentucky for one more season and led the Wildcats to a perfect 25-0 record in 1954. Had the Wildcats not declined an NCAA bid, that team, once again led by Ramsey and Hagan, probably would also have won a championship; they finished the regular season ranked #1 by the Associated Press. At that time NCAA rules prohibited graduate students from participating in post-season play; Ramsey, Hagan and a third starter, Lou Tsioropoulos, were graduate students and ineligible for post-season play. Although Kentucky was offered an NCAA bid, the rules prohibited the three players from participating and Kentucky chose to decline the invitation rather than risk its perfect record.
Upon completion of his college career, Ramsey scored 1344 points, which at the time ranked him fourth in the school's history, and grabbed 1038 rebounds, a school record later surpassed by one of his future Kentucky Colonel players, Dan Issel.
A 6-3 guard, the "Kentucky Colonel" played nine seasons in the NBA, all with the Celtics...He revolutionized basketball by becoming the Celtics original "Sixth Man"...He helped lead the Green and White to seven NBA world championship titles in 1956-57 and from 1958-59 through 1963-64...Led the Celtics in games played in 1958-59 and in 1960-61...Led the team in Free Throws Made in 1957-58...