Jack Foley earned his nickname, “The Shot,” after an incredible high school career that put him on the radar of every college in the country.
Luckily for Holy Cross, when Foley was scoring an amazing 920 points in just 22 games (41.8 ppg) in his final year of high school, he was doing it at nearby Assumption Prep in Worcester.
And with his father an HC alum, and his older brother Frank having just graduated after three years on the Crusader basketball team, Holy Cross head coach Roy Leenig was able to land the local legend as a member of the Crusader class of 1962.
As freshmen played only on the Freshmen team in those days, Foley’s first year at Holy Cross was simply a preview of things to come. He led the HC Frosh to a 17-2 record while scoring 619 points in the 19 games (32.6 average) and getting the entire Crusader basketball comminity excited about things to come.
“The Shot” did not
disappoint them. In his three years with the varsity he was a
scoring machine, finishing his HC career with 2,185 points - the
first Crusader to top the 2,000 points mark. He was the first
Crusader in school history to average more than 20 points per game
over a whole season three times, doing it in each of his three
varsity seasons. After averaging 24.6 points as a sophomore
(13th best in the nation), he moved up to 26.9 points as a junior
(sixth best in the nation) -- falling just short of Tom
Heinsohn’s HC season record of 27.4 ppg. But in his
senior season of 1962, in which he would earn All-America honors,
he smashed the school record by averaging 33.3 points per game, the
second best scoring average in the country that year. He
graduated with the two highest scoring games in Holy Cross history
- a 56-point effort against Connecticut in 1962 and a 55-point day
against Colgate in 1960. A three-time All-New England
selection, Foley scored 40 or more points five times in his
Sophomore Year (1959-60): A record setting debut... as he first eclipsed Tom Heinsohn’s HC sophomore scoring mark of 444 points, and then eventually passed Bob Cousy’s best season of 582 points by scoring 591 on the year...Scored 55 points in the final game of the year vs. Colgate, breaking the school record of 51 set by Heinsohn in 1956... He scored 36 points in a losing effort against St. Bonaventure in the NIT... Earned several accolades, including All-America honors from Helms, Associated Press, UPI, and LOOK Magazine to name but a few.
Junior Year (1960-61): Ranked sixth in the nation in scoring (26.9 ppg) and fell just short of Heinsohn’s HC single-season record of 27.4 ppg... Had a six-game stretch in the middle of the season where he averaged an amazing 38.8 points per game... Scored 40 points or more in three consecutive games... Earned First Team Catholic All-America honors as well as 10 other post-season award teams.
Senior Year (1961-62): Foley averaged an incredible 33.3 points per game -- setting a Crusader record that no one has gotten within five points of even today.... He ended up second in the nation in scoring to Bill McGill of Utah (38.8 ppg)... His season was spent catching and passing Crusader legends, as his career totals moved him past Togo Palazzi, then Bob Cousy and eventually Heinsohn, before settling in as the first 2,000 point scorer in HC history.... He broke his own school mark by scoring 56 points against UConn on February 17. No Crusader has topped 50 points in a game since that day.