- Men's Basketball (1964-68)
- Inducted 1993
When notified that he was selected to the ninth hall of fame class at YSU, Joe Nigro wrote “who would think that a skinny little kid from the south side of Youngstown, not only would make the basketball team, but land in the Hall of Fame as well!”
Well, that skinny little kid from Youngstown’s south side did make the team of his local college and etched his name forever in the YSU hoop record book as well as on the honor scroll of its Athletics Hall of Fame.
A 1963 graduate of nearby Cardinal Mooney High School, Nigro enrolled at then Youngstown University in the fall of 1964, opting to stay home to pursue both his academic/athletic career - a decision that he has never regretted to this day.
Playing for head coach Dom Rosselli, Nigro learned not only about the college hoop game from Rosselli, but he learned about life as well - something Rosselli had a knack of doing when you hung around him for a prolonged period of time.
Rosselli knew that Nigro was something special from the outset. As a freshman, he helped lead the team to a 20-6 overall ledger, playing in 22 games, hitting 112 of 263 field goals, and 50 of 62 free throws for 274 markers (second best on the team to Penguin Hall of Famer David Culliver), an average of 12.5 per outing.
For Nigro, there was no such thing as the sophomore jinx as he helped the Penguins to a 19-7 overall mark while averaging 15.1 points per outing (262 points scored in 24 games), second on the squad once again to David Culliver. He also hauled down 85 caroms-an average of 3.5 per outing.
Like a fine wine, Nigro got better with age. In his junior campaign, he helped the team to an 18-7 overall ledger, scored 468 points (an average of 18.7 per outing), while his free throw percentage of .786 (114 of 145) was tops on the team. His scoring again was second best, this time to John McElroy, who hooped 537 markers in 25 games for an average of 21.5 per outing.
By the time Nigro started his senior season, his leadership role was already established and Rosselli looked to Nigro to help his squad maintain the momentum the previous three campaigns had started. Nigro responded admirably as he scored 460 points in 25 games (an average of 18.4, which again was second best to John McElroy), led the team in free throw percentage with an .822 mark (connecting on 100 of 122 from the charity stripe), and led the team to a 17-8 overall mark.
When the final buzzer sounded on his stellar collegiate career, Nigro had scored 1,564 career points as he played in 96 games-.an average of 16.3 per outing. He was the ninth player to score 1000+ points in a career. Of the 24 all-time players that have etched their names into the Penguin cage record book with over 1,000 points in a career, Nigro is still ranked eighth on the all-time scoring ledger.
He received his BS in Management degree in 1969, minoring in Economics. Currently employed by the United States Post Office (Boardman Branch), he is married to the former Judith Glasser. They have six children and one grandchild.