Former Marine recognized for excellence in athletics

1st Marine Corps District
Story by Lance Cpl. Brandon Thomas

Date: 01.31.2014
Posted: 02.03.2014 17:03
News ID: 120027
Former Marine recognized for excellence in athletics

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - It is usually understood that becoming a Marine translates to success in life. Richie Guerin, a former Marine and NBA player, took this concept to a whole new level.<br /> <br /> Guerin, an Iona College Goal Club, Marine Corps Sports, and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, was honored by Iona College Jan. 31 by having his college jersey retired.<br /> <br /> Joseph E. Nyre, the college president, James P. Hynes, the chairman of the Iona College Board of Trustees, and Rick Cole, the director of athletics, presented Guerin with a commemorative framed jersey complete with his number 14 and a plaque that recognizes his Hall of Fame accomplishments.<br /> <br /> Guerin is the first alumni from Iona to receive such honors.<br /> <br /> A color guard comprised of Marines from the 1st Marine Corps District presented the colors. Recruiters from Recruiting Station Albany also attended the ceremony to honor Guerin’s achievements.<br /> <br /> “It’s important to us as Marines to show our veterans that we care about them,” said Staff Sgt. Kelly R. Brodmerkel, a canvassing recruiter from Recruiting Substation Worchester, RS Albany. “It’s so motivating to see a Marine achieve so much.”<br /> <br /> Guerin, who grew up in the Bronx in New York City, joined the Marine Corps Reserves in 1947 at the age of 15. In 1950, while serving as a reservist, he enrolled in Iona College. Upon graduation he was commissioned as a second lieutenant.<br /> <br /> “I came close to becoming a career Marine,” said Guerin. “I told my commanding officer I wanted to give professional ball a shot and if that didn’t work out I’d reenlist.”<br /> <br /> Guerin played with the New York Knicks from 1956 to 1963 and was a player-coach of the St. Louis and Atlanta Hawks franchise for nine years.<br /> <br /> “There’s not a doubt in my mind that the Marine Corps played a major role in my success,” said Guerin.