Goldstein, Don : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Goldstein, Don

Donald Goldstein

In 1959, Goldstein was named All-America and led Louisville to its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Final Four (he was also named to the All-tournament team). That same year, he won a gold medal in basketball at the Pan American Games (among his teammates were Oscar Robertson and Jerry West).

Birth and Death Dates:

Career Highlights:
Goldstein was an amazing player at Louisville in the late 1950s and helped the Cardinals become one of the top programs in the country. In 1957, the Cardinals were ranked No. 6 in the AP poll (No. 8 by UPI) with a record of 21-5. The following year, they struggled, finishing 13-12, but rebounded in Goldstein's final season. 1959 saw Don being named Converse second team All-America and Helms third team All-America as he helped lead Louisville to a record of 16-10 and an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

In the first round of the tournament, Goldstein scored 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as the Cardinals defeated Eastern Kentucky 77-63. Louisville, led by Goldstein, then pulled off one of the biggest upsets in NCAA tournament history when they defeated No. 2 Kentucky, 76-61. Goldstein was the star of the contest, with game highs of 19 points and 13 rebounds. In the Mideast Regional Final, Goldstein continued his amazing play with 21 points and 7 rebounds as Louisville defeated Michigan State 88-81 to advance to the Final Four. Although it was Louisville's first-ever appearance in the NCAA Final Four, it was played on their home court, so there was some hope for the Cardinals.

The 1959 Final Four was one of the most intriguing contests in college basketball history as Oscar Robinson led the Cincinnat Bearcats, Jerry West powered West Virginia, Goldstein led Louisville, and California (led by Jewish captain Al Buch) was deemed the mystery guest from the West. Many fans wanted a Robertson-West battle in the final, but Cal ended those wishes by defeating the Bearcats. In the other semifinal, Goldstein paced the Cardinals with 21 points and 9 rebounds, but they still fell to West Virginia, 94-79. In the National third-place game, Don again performed marvelously, with 21 points and 8 rebounds, but Louisville lost 98-85 to the Oscar Robertson-led Cincinnati Bearcats. Goldstein averaged 21.4 points and 10.0 rebounds in the tournament and was named to the All-Mideast Regional Team and the All-Tournament Team.

In his three years at Louisville, Goldstein scored 1,019 points (the 10th Cardinal to score over 1,000 points) and grabbed 838 rebounds (still 10th all-time in school history) while leading them to a combined 53-29 record. He is a member of the University of Louisville Athletic Hall of Fame, and had his jersey retired in January, 2000. Goldstein was the second round draft pick (10th overall) of the Detroit Pistons in 1959, but he did not play in the NBA. Instead, he went to dental school and is currently a dentist on Long Island.

New York

Career Dates:
Don played at Louisville University, 1956-1959.

Physical description:
6'5", 190 pounds

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encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
The Official NBA Encyclopedia: Third Edition, edited by Jan Hubbard (New York: Doubleday, 2000)
Ronald Encyclopedia of Basketball, edited by William G. Mokray (Ronald Press: 1962)