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Jerry Lucas to Play for Pipers of American Basketball League

May 15, 1962 - George Steinbrenner (left), 31-year-old president of the Cleveland Pipers of the American Basketball League, confirmed today that Jerry Lucas (right), Ohio State all-America basketball player, would sign a contract to play for the Pipers. Lucas, who had maintained throughout his college career that he was not interested in turning pro, said his agreement called for a salary of about $10,000 a season, plus an investment portfolio worth $40,000. In crediting Mr. Steinbrenner with persuading him to change his mind, Lucas said: “Mr. Steinbrenner said the A.B.L. schedule had been cut to about 70 games, at his suggestion, and would not open until December. Therefore, I could finish school. He offered a two-year contract instead of three. After two years, he said, the club would see my way was paid through the graduate school of my choice. He said I wasn’t expected to play more than two years.” Lucas, after dropping out of school for the current semester to fulfill several lecture engagements, will not graduate from Ohio State until December. He has an A-minus average in the School of Commerce at Ohio State.


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