Jake Handzeiek

About This Inductee

Jake graduated from the former Shickshinny High School, after starting four seasons at the varsity level. He went on to become one of the greatest basketball scorers in Pennsylvania. He finished with 2,232 points, 1,008 coming during his senior year. He had single games of 59, 58, 53 points and led his team to the 1952 Class B Eastern finals. Scholarship offers came in bunches, from St. Bonaventure, Stanford and Notre Dame, just to name a few, but Jake chose to stay close to home. He played at Juniata College from 1952 to 1956 and was a four-year letterer in basketball and baseball. He led the nation in foul shooting (90 percent) in 1954. He is still the all-time scorer in Juniata men’s basketball history with 1,950 points for an average of 23.9 points per game. He led the team in scoring all four years that he played. He was nationally the second-leading scorer during his sophomore year at Juniata, averaging 26.7 points per game. Jake was one of the top pitchers and played third base on the baseball team. He was inducted into the Juniata College Hall of Fame on November 4, 1995, along with his roommate Chuck Knox. Jake returned to this area and taught and coached for 35 years at Northwest Area High School from 1956 to 1991. He was assistant coach to Eddie Gayeski for 29 years before becoming head coach for six years until his retirement in 1991. The Northwest Rangers had back-to-back state championship teams in the 1982-1983 and 1983-1984 seasons. Jake was a scout for the ST. Louis Cardinals baseball organization for 25 years. He also played briefly in the Eastern Basketball League for Wilkes-Barre and Williamsport. He officiated as a PIAA basketball referee and baseball umpire for 25 years. He also refereed some college basketball games and umpired collegiate baseball games. Jake passed away on March 3, 2009. Jake is survived by his wife Gloria, children Michael and Renee and two grandchildren, Naomi and Jacob.