Tom Stith

Tom Stith

St. Bonaventure Basketball Player

A two-time high school All-American at St. Francis High in Brooklyn, Tom Stith is a member of the All-Time Little Three basketball team. Tom held the St. Bonaventure career scoring record until Bob Lanier topped it only by 15 points. Stith is currently the school’s fourth all-time leading scorer, and he is the only Bonnie to record 800 points in a season (twice). In fact, Stith set school records for points (830) and average (31.5), which still stand. Stith’s career featured nine 40-point games, and his scoring prowess landed the co-captain on 11 different All-American teams in 1961.

Tom’s tale goes far beyond individual brilliance, however. He was one of the cornerstones of a team that enjoyed the most memorable run in the proud basketball history of St. Bonaventure. Along with brother Sam, Whitey Martin, Freddy Crawford and Orrie Jirele, Stith paced the Bonnies to a torrid .835 winning percentage from 1957 to 1961. The Bonnies’ 24-4 1960-61 campaign ranked them second in the nation; one of the few blemishes on that season was the only home loss of Stith’s tenure, an upset loss to Niagara which ended Bonnies’ amazing 99-game winning streak at the Olean Armory.

Stith’s Bona years included three National Invitational Tournament appearances, one NCAA tournament and a lifetime’s worth of memories for fans fortunate enough to have witnessed the basketball golden era of a beloved Western New York institution.