Top Stories

Legendary high school scout Tom Konchalski dies at 74

Tom Konchalski spent 43 years evaluating and scouting hundreds of high school prospects.

From NBA.com News Services

The NBA family reflects on the life of high school hoops scout Tom Konchalski.

Tom Konchalski, a well-respected and popular high school basketball scout, died Monday at age 74. He had battled metastatic cancer for the past two years, per the New York Post, and was moved into hospice care last week.

Konchalski had spent 43 years evaluating college basketball prospects and wrote and ran the High School Basketball Insider Report since 1979. He also took over ownership of the Five-Star Basketball Camp, which has seen NBA legends including Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Dominique Wilkins, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving and more participate in the camp in their high school days.

The HSBI Report was written on Konchalski’s typewriter and was mailed out 16 times a year the more than 200 college coaches who subscribed to it. It served as a scouting report, evaluation and rankings list hundreds of prospects.

“Tom just tried to help everybody,” Iona College coach Rick Pitino told the New York Post. “He was just a very humble, kind, special man. … If you asked him about a player, he would give you the mother, father, nephew, nieces, he would know every single person in the family, and he would know the connections, what you would have to do to get the kid.”

He was known to many as “The Glider” because of his ability to slip into a gym unnoticed and assess players on his trademark yellow notepad. Konchalski was also known for his incredible memory and the fact he never had a cellphone, VCR or answering machine. His detail in describing players in his HSBI was the stuff of legend as well.

Of former NBA star Jamal Mashburn, Konchalski wrote in the HBCI that Mashburn had “the body of a blacksmith and the touch of a surgeon.” Future All-NBA guard Penny Hardaway, he said “deals like Trump, dishes like Julia Child and delivers like Domino’s.” He also once said of Kenny Anderson’s college prospects: “Only the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are ahead of him.”

NBA stars Donovan Mitchell and Tobias Harris — both of whom were born and raised in New York — took to Twitter on Monday to pay homage to Konchalski, as did several other players and others in the basketball world.

 

Latest