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Herb Turetzky, official Nets scorer for 54 years, dies at 76


After a season at Teaneck, Mr. Turetzky followed the Nets to Long Island, where they played in three arenas, including the Nassau Coliseum; then to three New Jersey homes, including the Prudential Center in Newark; and finally at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Between 1984 and 2018, he scored 1,465 consecutive games.

“When I made my 900th consecutive game, they covered it on NBA TV,” he told New Jersey newspaper The Record in 2012. Boy, this man has seen a lot of bad basketball.

“I’ve seen bad games,” he added, “but I’ve seen great ones.”

In 2020, when all bad and great games — and those in between — totaled 2,206, Guinness World Records certified them as the most by an official scorer in NBA history.

Mr. Turetzky was inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004.

Herbert Stephen Turetzky was born in Brooklyn on December 19, 1945. His mother, Rose (Pearl) Turetzky, was an accountant for Fox’s U-Bet chocolate syrup maker. His father, Sam, was a plumber. Herb played basketball at the Brownsville Boys’ Club (now the Brownsville Recreation Center), where he also learned how to run a scoreboard and hold a scoreboard.

After graduating from LIU in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in economics, he served as a teacher and then principal at an elementary school in Brooklyn. After that, he worked as a grants writer for the New York City Board of Education and owned a trophy business. He obtained two master’s degrees, in education and in administration and supervision.

All the while, Mr. Turetzky was traveling to Nets home games. His longest break from scoring duties began in November 1968, when he traveled to a game in Commack, Long Island. He lost control of his car on the Long Island Freeway, ran through a grass divider, and crashed into an oncoming car. The driver was killed.

“I was in a coma for about six weeks and I broke my whole left side creating muscle damage, I had a concussion, I broke my jaw,” he told The Asbury Park Press in 2005.

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