Harry Junior “The Horse” Gallatin (April 26, 1927 – October 7, 2015) was an American professional basketball player and coach. Gallatin played nine seasons for the New York Knicks in the NBA from 1948 to 1957, as well as one season with the Detroit Pistons in 1958. In 1954 Gallatin led the NBA in rebounding, and was named to the All-NBA First Team. Gallatin was named to the All-NBA Second Team in 1955. For his career, Gallatin played in seven NBA All-Star Games. A member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, he was also a member of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, the SIU Edwardsville Athletics Hall of Fame, the Truman State University Athletics Hall of Fame, the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, two Illinois Basketball Halls of Fame, the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) Hall of Fame, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Hall of Fame, and the SIU Salukis Hall of Fame.
In his third year in the NBA, Gallatin was selected for the first NBA All-Star Game in 1951, and from 1951 through 1957 was chosen for seven consecutive NBA All-Star games. It was in the NBA where he earned the nickname “The Horse”. He played his entire career as an extremely undersized center at 6’6″ and 215 lbs., but had more than size and passion; he had tremendous physical strength and epitomized hard work both in college and in the NBA. He played nine seasons for the New York Knicks, from 1948 to 1957. His best statistical year was in 1954, when he led the NBA in rebounding, averaging 15.3 rebounds per game. That same year, he was also named to the All-NBA first team. His most dominating single-game performance was on the last regular season game of the 1952–53 season. That night, against the Fort Wayne Pistons, Gallatin pulled down 33 rebounds, a Knicks record which still stands today.
After nine strong years with the Knicks, Gallatin was traded to the Detroit Pistons in 1958. He played only one season for the Pistons before retiring as one of the most dominating post players of his era, and a very durable and dedicated athlete.
After his retirement from playing in 1958, Gallatin became the head coach of the Southern Illinois University Salukis. In four seasons there, he led his teams to a 69–35 record and post-season tournament appearances every year. The 1961–62 team made it to the NCAA Small College (now Division II) Tournament semifinals before barely losing to eventual champion Mount St. Mary’s College 58–57, then took third place by beating Nebraska Wesleyan University 98–81.
He returned to the NBA in 1962 as coach of the St. Louis Hawks. In his first season, he led the Hawks to the division finals and was named NBA Coach of the Year. The 1963–64 season saw the Hawks again advance to the division finals, but halfway through 1964–65 he returned to New York to coach the Knicks while Richie Guerin replaced him as coach of the Hawks. The Knicks were developing into a championship team, but the pieces were not yet all in place and Gallatin left the Knicks and the NBA midway through the 1965–66 season.
Career highlights and awards
7× NBA All-Star (1951–1957)
All-NBA First Team (1954)
All-NBA Second Team (1955)
NBA rebounding leader (1954)
NBA Coach of the Year (1963)
Halls of Fame:
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame (1957)
Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame (1974)
Truman State University Athletics Hall of Fame (1984 & 2007 for 1946–47 team )
Missouri Sports Hall of Fame (1989)
SIU Edwardsville Athletics Hall of Fame (2005)
Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Hall of Fame (2010)
Illinois High School Basketball Hall of Fame and Museum (2014)
SIU Salukis Hall of Fame (2015)