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Herb Turetzky, longtime Nets official scorer, dies at 76

April 6, 2022 Associated Press and Spencer Ross
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Herb Turetzky, who was the Nets’ official scorer for 54 years across multiple leagues and states, has died. He was 76.

The Nets said Turetzky, who retired before this season, died Monday. They did not provide a cause of death.

Turetzky was a senior at Long Island University when he scored the first game in franchise history — when the New Jersey Americans of the American Basketball Association hosted the Pittsburgh Pipers on Oct. 23, 1967, in Teaneck, New Jersey. He went on to score more than 2,200 games, a record for pro basketball games that was certified in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Turetzky worked 1,465 consecutive games in the regular season and playoffs, beginning in New Jersey in the 1984-85 season and ending in Brooklyn in October 2018. The Nets honored him at a game this season, giving him the title of official scorer emeritus and dedicating the scorer’s table at Barclays Center as the “Herb Turetzky Scorer’s Table.”

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He is survived by his wife, Jane, daughter Jennifer, son David and their families.

A tribute to Herb Teretzky by Spencer Ross

It was 54 years ago that I first met Herb Turetsky: October 23, 1967.

I guess you might call us pioneers. He sat two seats away from me. It was opening night for the newly born American Basketball Association. I was the play by play announcer for the New Jersey Americans (the Nets). Fortuitously Brooklyn born and raised Herb Turetsky, a senior at
Long Island University was in attendance.

Minutes before the game the Americans realized they did not have an official scorer. Coach Max Zaslofsky looked around and saw Herb. He knew him from Brooklyn. They attended the same high school (Thomas Jefferson) generations apart, but kids from Brownsville and East New York develop a special bond that joins them together.

“Herb, have you ever scored a game?” Zaslofsky asked.

Before Herb had a chance to answer, Max told him he was hired, and thus began a journey that lasted 53 years — 1967 though 2001.

Thousands of games. More than Lou Gehrig. Herb is actually mentioned in the Guinness World Records.

I left to go to other ventures three years later, only to return after 20-years as the TV voice of the New Jersey Nets. Lots of things had changed. One thing hadn’t. Herb was in the same seat.

I always considered myself fortunate to earn my living calling sporting events, games I loved and got paid for. In many way I envied Herb. He approached each and every game with a passion and live, developing life-long relationships with these basketball players.

It didn’t end when they stopped playing. Rare was the retired player who came to see a Nets game who didn’t stop by to say hello and give a warm hug to this man. The list included the likes of Dr. J. Buck Williams and many Hall-of Fame players as well as journeymen who got to know, respect and love Herb.

An accident placed Herb on a wheelchair for some 20 years of his life. His recuperation period was the only time he missed a game. That brings us to his loving wife Jane. While raising a loving family she became the person who drove Herb to and from each of those games. Like the postman, neither rain, snow or sleet kept Jane Turetsky from her appointed rounds.

There was a game to be played and Herb and Jane were always there: 53-years. There’ll never be another one like him. It was a game.

For Herb it was a love affair and this retired school teacher relished each and every night he came to Teaneck, Commack, West Hempstead, Mineola, Piscataway, East Rutherford and finally back home to Brooklyn.

There’s a saying” “You can take the boy out of Brooklyn, but you can’t take the Brooklyn out of the boy.”

And for more than half a century Herb Turetsky remained that young boy doing a mans job and doing it better than anyone. Much love to Brooklyn Herb.

He’ll be missed by many and as long as there is basketball team playing in Brooklyn anyone who knew him will come to the arena and look down at the scorers table and think of and remember Herb.

A true one of a kind.

Miss ya my friend.

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