Gus Alfieri, a standout basketball player at St. John’s who later became a very successful high school coach and an author, has died. He was 87.
St. John’s said a family member informed the school that Alfieri died Monday. No cause of death was provided.
Alfieri helped St. John’s win the 1959 National Invitation Tournament, scoring 15 points in the championship game, a 76-71 victory over Bradley in double overtime at Madison Square Garden. He averaged 10.8 points and 4.1 rebounds in 72 career games over three seasons from 1956-59 and in October was inducted into the university’s Hall of Fame as part of the 2023 class.
Following his college career, Alfieri became the head coach at Saint Anthony’s High School on Long Island. He led the program to two New York State championships, four NSCHSAA titles and 328 wins from 1968-86. The basketball court at St. Anthony’s was renamed in his honor in 2016.
Alfieri ran the All American Basketball Camp on Long Island for more than 50 years and was inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016.
Also a teacher, Alfieri authored a book about Hall of Fame coach Joe Lapchick, his mentor at St. John’s. “Lapchick: The Life of a Legendary Player and Coach in the Glory Days of Basketball” drew on more than 250 interviews with basketball greats such as Lou Carnesecca, Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Knight and John Wooden.
St. John’s said visitation will be held Thursday and Friday at Branch Funeral Home in Smithtown, and a funeral mass will take place Saturday morning at Christ the King Church in Commack.
Top: Brooklyn Nets’ new head coach Kenny Atkinson, right, poses for a photograph with his high school coach Gus Alfieri after Atkinson was introduced to the media at the Nets Brooklyn training center, Monday, May 16, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)