A second-round selection by the Lakers in the 1951 draft, Lew Hitch won NBA titles in his first two years in the league, averaging 3.65 points and 3.95 rebounds in just over 14 minutes a game.
The 6-foot-8 forward/center was sold to the Milwaukee Hawks before the 1953-54 season. With his playing time increased to 34 minutes a game, Hitch led the Hawks in rebounds (691) and rebounds per game (9.6) that season and was ninth in the NBA in both categories as well. He was also Milwaukee’s fourth-highest scorer (8.0).
His numbers came back down after being traded back to the Lakers during the 1954-55 season. During his two stints in Minneapolis, Hitch averaged 4.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 17.4 minutes a game in three-plus seasons.
Feb. 12, 2011