Jack Laub’s incredible basketball career, his service as a U.S. Officer during World War II and his pioneering initiatives in the pharmaceutical world testify to his great accomplishments which have earned him distinct honors during his lifetime.
Laub’s basketball career began at an early age, as a varsity player for Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, NY. After graduating with Honors in 1943, Laub joined the City College of New York, playing for two varsity years under the famous coach Nat Holman during the 1943-1945 seasons. He was recognized for his impressive performance with the Honorable Mention Award from the NY City All-Stars, and his election to the City College of New York Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.
Upon graduating, Laub served in the Merchant Marine during World War II, where he was commissioned as Ensign Officer in Maritime Service, and was later discharged as a Lieutenant of Senior Grade. In October 1946 he served as a Staff Officer for the US Coast Guard.
After returning from service, Jack headed to Cincinnati with the hope of pursuing medical school. Mr. Laub was awarded a basketball scholarship at the University of Cincinnati (UC), where he would play for four years, making him the only player in NCAA history to play for six varsity years. At Cincy, Laub became known as the Black Cat, as he played with other returning World War II veterans, contributing to the team’s winning of four conference championships. This team put UC on the basketball map as they were in the top teams in the country.
Due to his talent, Coach John Wiethe appointed the Black Cat as Assistant Coach and later Head Scout for the UC team, after he completed his bachelor’s degree in psychology at age 24. In this capacity, Laub helped lead the team into its first appearance in the National Invitation Tournament in 1951.
Laub became one of the first professional basketball players in the NBA as he was drafted by the Baltimore Bullets, traded to the Minneapolis Lakers and later acquired by the Scranton Miners, who won two championships during his tenure.
In 1959, Laub returned to basketball as Head Coach at the U.S. Kings Point Merchant Marine Academy at age 32. Laub became one of the first UC players in 1950 to be drafted in the NBA by the Baltimore Bullets, traded to the Minneapolis Lakers and later acquired by the Scranton Miners who won two championships during his tenure.
Jack Laub’s life accomplishments extend far beyond his basketball career. In May 2010, the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Cincinnati honored Laub with the Distinguished Alumni Award for his contribution to the reduction of prescription drug costs for consumers, hospitals and insurance companies in the US. He also established the first mail-order pharmacy in New York and streamlined the purchase of generic drugs to consumers through his businesses.
Recently, Jack Laub was conferred the honor of “Chevalier” of the Legion of Honor by the President of the French Republic, in recognition of his contribution to the United States’ crucial role in the liberation of France during World War II.