Former Celtics point guard Johnny McCarthy has passed away. McCarthy, who spent the 1963-64 season with the NBA champion Celtics, was 86 years old.
Locally, McCarthy was as well known for the athletic excellence of his grandchildren as he was for his own NBA career. McCarthy's grandson, Johnny, played for Noble and Greenough before being a four-year starter in college at Amherst. His younger grandson, Tim, a Roxbury Latin graduate, is a current Amherst College basketball player. McCarthy’s granddaughters, Maggie and Annie, have both starred for Medfield High School girls basketball, with the former now playing for Harvard in college.
Medfield girls basketball immediately expressed its sympathies via Twitter. "Clearly, he was an amazing role model, father and grandfather," read the tweet, in part.
An All-American at Canisius in college, McCarthy was selected with the 24th overall pick in the 1956 NBA draft. He spent seven seasons in professional basketball, six in the NBA, as a player. In what would be arguably his finest season as a pro, 1958-59 with the Cincinnati Royals, he averaged 12.9 points per game, along with 4.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists.
He would later coach his hometown Buffalo Braves for the 1972 season.
McCarthy also held a distinction that placed him in the company of superstars LeBron James, Magic Johnson, and Nikola Jokic: he was one of only four NBA players to begin their playoff careers with a triple-double. As a guard for the St. Louis Hawks in 1960, he registered a line of 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.