Tuesday, May 21, 2019

George Yardley

George Harry Yardley III

November 3, 1928
Hollywood, CA

August 13. 2004
Newport Beach, CA

1945-46 Newport Harbor High School - Newport Beach, CA (High School)
1947-48 Stanford University (College)
1948-49 Stanford University (College)
1949-50 Stanford University (College)
1950-51 Stewart Chevrolet - San Francisco (Independent)
1951-52 Los Alamitos Naval Base (Military) 
1953-54 Fort Wayne Pistons (NBA)
1954-55 Fort Wayne Pistons (NBA)
1955-56 Fort Wayne Pistons (NBA)
1956-57 Fort Wayne Pistons (NBA)
1957-58 Detroit Pistons (NBA)
1958-59 Detroit Pistons (NBA)
1958-59 Syracuse Nationals (NBA)
1959-60 Syracuse Nationals (NBA)
1961-62 Los Angeles Jets (ABL)


Yardley graduated from Stanford in 1950 and was selected by Fort Wayne in the first round of the 1950 NBA Draft. Rather than sign with the Pistons, he wanted to maintain his amateur status in order to play in the 1952 Olympics. He played basketball with the Stewart Chevrolet out of San Francisco who won the 1951 AAU Championship. Yardley entered the U.S. Navy shortly thereafter and played for the Los Alamitos Base team. However, he broke his hand while playing there and was unable to play for the United States in the Helsinki Olympic games.

Out of the navy in 1953, Yardley finally joined the Pistons and five years later when the Pistons moved to Detroit, Yardley became the first NBA player to score 2000 points in a single season.  In the following 1958-59 season, Yardley was traded to the Syracuse Nationals where he played the next season and a half. A six-time all-star, Yardley retired following the 1959-60 season at the age of 31.

In his seven-year career, he finished in the top 16 in scoring in six seasons. He returned to California but was coaxed out of retirement in 1961 by Bill Sharman who was a player and head coach for the New York Jets in the new American Basketball League. When the team failed, he quit playing for good and started up his own engineering company, the George Yardley Company in Santa Ana, California. Yardley was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1996. He died in 2004 from complications of ALS.

George and his wife, Diana, had two daughters and one son.

NY Times, August 16, 2004