Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Frank Otway

Frank Hamilton Otway

March 1, 1923
British West Indies


Chicago University (College) 
1944-45 Chicago American Gears (NBL)
1946-47 Bergen-Newark (NYNJ)
1949-50 Rider University (College)
1950-51 Rider University (College)

All I initally knew was he played one game in Chicago in 1944-45. He allegedly went to college at the University of Chicago, which would put him in position to play with the Gears. But after that, he went to Rider? It's not unheard of in this era for a player to go to college after some professional basketball experience. But did he actually attend U of C? If not, then why was he in Chicago to play the Gears? Possibly stationed at Great Lakes?

This issue of the Cornell Daily Sun has him at 6'3, 190 lbs for Rider.

There was a Frank S. Otway who died in 2009 in Georgia. In an email conversation with his sister, she told me he was not the basketball player from Rider.

This brings us to Frank H. Otway, born c. 1923 in the British West Indies. He was living in New Jersey in 1940 (which is where Rider is)

This Rider donor list from 2014-2015 confirms Frank H. Otway graduated in 1951.

So now he know his identity.

- Update 1/31/2016 -  

I was able to contact Mr. Otway and through correspondence I am able to fill in more information.

Otway was in the U.S. Marines, stationed in Chicago. He was attending the University of Chicago as well, and saw an ad in the paper for tryouts for the Gears, so he went and made the team. After a few games, his commanding officer found out about it and ended his time with the Gears. After the war, he went to Rider where he played two seasons.

Frank married Isabel Thomas and they had two sons, Dale (1942-2013) and Gary (1947-2010) and two daughter, Lyris and Christine.


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