"Easy Ed" Macauley, one of the early stars of the NBA and, incidentally, the Saint Louis University Billikens, died yesterday here in St. Louis. He was 83 years old and six feet eight inches tall.
|Ed Macauley with his SLU coach, Ed Hickey.|
Macauley grew up in St. Louis, attended SLU High and went to SLU by default: His mother told him he could go to any college he wanted, as long as it was in St. Louis and Catholic. He allegedly earned the nickname "Easy Ed" in the fall of 1947, his sophomore year, during his first game as team captain.
"It was my role to lead the team from the basement locker room through the door," he recalled during his induction to the St. Louis Walk of Fame in 2003. "But nobody followed me when I ran down the court and made a layup. Then I heard people shout, 'Take it easy, Ed.' I didn't realize it, but they were playing the national anthem."
Macauley never made that faux pas again, but he also never took it easy on the court. That season, he led the Billikens to the NIT title, scoring 24 points against NYU during the final game at Madison Square Garden and earning MVP honors. (The final score was 65-52.) All of St. Louis rejoiced: A crowd of 15,000 greeted the team at Union Station when it returned in triumph from New York.More »