Howie Crittenden

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Howie Crittenden
Personal information
Born (1933-03-03)March 3, 1933
Died August 30, 2013(2013-08-30) (aged 80)
Murray, Kentucky
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Career information
High school Cuba (Cuba, Kentucky)
College Murray State (1952–1956)
NBA draft 1956 / Round: 10 / Pick: 73[1]
Selected by the New York Knicks
Position Guard
Number 19
Career history
As player:
1956–1960 Peoria Caterpillars (AAU/NIBL)
As coach:
1958–1959 Metropolis HS
1960–1965 Calloway County HS
1965–1966 Missouri (asst.)
Career highlights and awards

Howard Royce "Howie" Crittenden (March 3, 1933 – August 30, 2013) was an American basketball player, best known for his college career at Murray State University and in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).

High school and college career

Crittenden first gained fame as a high school player for the Cuba High School Cubs who, despite an enrollment of only around 100 students, captured the 1952 Kentucky state championship, defeating the much larger Louisville Manual High.[2] Crittenden was named all-state his last two years and a high school All-American in his senior season.[3]

He then moved to Murray State, where over his four-year career Crittenden scored 2,019 points (19.4 per game), graduating as the Racers' all-time leading scorer (since eclipsed). Crittenden was the first player in school history to eclipse the 2,000 point mark - and the only one to do so without the benefit of the three-point shot. Crittenden also holds the school record for free throws made with 731, a mark that still ranks among the best in NCAA history. Crittenden was inducted into the Murray State athletic Hall of Fame in 1970 and the Kentucky basketball Hall of Fame in 1972.[3]

AAU career and later life

After graduating in 1956, Crittenden was drafted by the New York Knicks in the tenth round of the 1956 NBA draft.[1] However, in a move not uncommon in the early days of American professional basketball, he instead signed with Caterpillar Inc. to play for their AAU team the Peoria Caterpillars. Crittenden thrived in industrial basketball, being named an AAU All-American in three of his four seasons with the club. Crittenden led the Cats to two AAU titles in 1958 and 1960.[4]

After his playing days were over, Crittenden became a coach and administrator. He was head basketball coach at Metropolis High School in Metropolis, Illinois and Calloway County High School in Murray, Kentucky. He was also an assistant coach at the University of Missouri during the 1965–66 season.[3]

Crittended died on August 30, 2013 at his home in Murray, Kentucky.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Historical NBA transactions on April 30". Sports Reference LLC. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Pitts, Gary (February 10, 2012). "Remembering the 1952 State Champion Cuba Cubs". Retrieved September 2, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Racer great Howie Crittenden remembered for talent and character". WPSD Local 6. September 1, 2012. Retrieved September 2, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Grundman, Adolph H. (2004). The Golden Age of Amateur Basketball: The AAU Tournament, 1921-1968. ISBN 0-8032-7117-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>