Happy Hairston

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Happy Hairston
Happy Hairston 1974.jpg
Hairston in 1974
Personal information
Born (1942-05-31)May 31, 1942
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Died May 1, 2001(2001-05-01) (aged 58)
Los Angeles, California
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight 225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school Atkins
(Winston-Salem, North Carolina)
College NYU (1961–1964)
NBA draft 1964 / Round: 4 / Pick: 33rd overall
Selected by the Cincinnati Royals
Playing career 1964–1975
Position Forward
Number 22, 5, 52
Career history
19641968 Cincinnati Royals
19681969 Detroit Pistons
19691975 Los Angeles Lakers
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points 11,505 (14.8 ppg)
Rebounds 8,019 (10.3 rpg)
Assists 1,268 (1.6 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Harold "Happy" Hairston (May 31, 1942 – May 1, 2001) was an American professional basketball player. He was best remembered for when he played for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA), along with stints with the Cincinnati Royals and the Detroit Pistons. He was a member of the 1971–72 NBA championship Lakers, a team that won 33 games in a row, a record not duplicated in any other American professional sport. Hairston was a 6'7" (200 cm) 225 lb (102 kg) forward. He was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Hairston attended Atkins High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He played college basketball for coach Lou Rossini at New York University from 1962 to 1964 where he graduated. One of his teammates was Barry Kramer. The two smashed almost every record for the NYU Violets. Happy averaged 21 pts per game led NYU on all time rebounding and totalled 1350 pts in his college carreer for which he was inducted into NYU hall of fame in 1981. Drafted by Now defunct Cinncinnati Royals,he played professionally for the Cincinnati Royals and Detroit Pistons before joining the Lakers in 1969.

In 1971-72, Hairston grabbed 1,045 rebounds; his teammate Wilt Chamberlain pulled down 1,572. Hairston astoundingly led the Lakers in both rebounds and field goal percentage during the 1973-74 and 1974-75 seasons, and set an NBA record for most defensive rebounds in a quarter with 13 (vs. the Philadelphia 76ers, November 15, 1974).[1]

During his 11 seasons in the NBA, Hairston averaged 14.8 points and 10.3 rebounds.

After his retirement in 1975, Hairston established the Happy Hairston Youth Foundation in Century City. With financial help from celebrities such as Kelsey Grammer, the foundation found bright children from broken homes and paid for their college education. He also hosted a celebrity golf tournament. He had a small role in the 1981 Happy Days episode "Tall Story," where he played the father of an epileptic high school basketball player.

Hairston died in 2001 sadly at the age of 58

He suffered for two years with prostate cancer and chemotherapy.

In Los Angeles respiratory complications finally caused death due to prostate cancer. He is survived by a daughter and three sisters.


Year Title Role Notes
1979 The Concorde ... Airport '79 American Olympic Team Coach
1994 The Paper James Hairston (final film role)


  1. ^ NBA.com: Regular Season Records: Rebounds (Through the 2004-2005 season)
  • "Former Laker Happy Hairston Dies at 58". Associated Press. May 2, 2001.

External links

  • Happy Hairston at Find a Grave
  • Bio at Basketball-reference.com
  • Happy Hairston on IMDb
Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Happy_Hairston&oldid=869364787"
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Hairston
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Happy Hairston"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA