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Remembering Chris Ford ’79, Basketball Legend

By Shawn Proctor

Chris Ford ’79 Villanova basketball legend passed away on Jan. 17 at age 74.

His list of accomplishments is long. At Villanova, Ford played on teams that qualified for the NCAA tournament three times, reaching the finals in 1971. He helped the Boston Celtics win the NBA title in 1981 and coached for several years at the professional level. But, perhaps, Ford is best known for a shot heard around the world.

The first 3-point shot, that is. (Note: there is an open question about whether he or Kevin Grevey hit the shot first, according to a Jan. 21 article in the The New York Times by Richard Goldstein. Who shot first? The world may never know.)

The shot has come to define basketball, as much as the slam dunk. So next time you’re sitting with friends and watching a game of basketball, make sure to recount Ford’s accomplishment that faithful night Oct. 12, 1979.

“A creative, gifted tough (Villanova) guard,” former Villanova coach Jay Wright posted on Twitter, according an Associated Press article posted Jan. 18. “He was more of an idol when I knew him as a great man, loyal friend and passionate (Villanova) alumni. Chris is loved by the VU community. I will miss our talks.”

If you want to learn more about Chris Ford, visit Falvey Library’s newly revamped Digital Library, where you can find images above as well as read issues of The Villanovan, the student newspaper. Access to the article about Ford’s life and accomplishments was made possible by Falvey Library’s subscriptions, available to the University’s students and faculty.


"" Shawn Proctor is Communication and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Library.



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Last Modified: January 26, 2023

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