|Small Forward / Power Forward|
|Born May 31, 1942 |
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
|Died May 1, 2001 (aged 58) |
Los Angeles, California
|Listed height 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)|
|Listed weight 225 lb (102 kg)|
|High school Erasmus Hall|
(Brooklyn, New York)
|College NYU (1961–1964)|
|NBA Draft 1964 / Round: 4 / Pick: 33rd|
|Selected by the Cincinnati Royals|
|Pro career 1964-1975 (11 years)|
|1964-1968 Cincinnati Royals|
|1968-1969 Detroit Pistons|
|1969-1975 Los Angeles Lakers|
|Career highlights and awards|
Harold Hairston (May 31, 1942 – May 1, 2001) was an American professional basketball player.
Hairston was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on May 31, 1942. Hairston attended Erasmus Hall in Brooklyn, New York.
He played college basketball at New York University from 1962 to 1964, where one of his teammates was Barry Kramer.
Happy was selected by the Cincinnati Royals (now the Sacramento Kings) with the 33rd overall pick. He played professionally for the Royals (1964-1968) and Detroit Pistons (1968-1969) before joining the Los Angeles Lakers in 1969. In 1971-72, Hairston grabbed 1,045 rebounds; his teammate Wilt Chamberlain pulled down 1,572. Hairston led the Lakers in both rebounds and field goal percentage during the 1973-74 and 1974-75 seasons, and set an NBA record for most defensive rebounds in a quarter with 13 (vs. the Philadelphia 76ers, November 15, 1974). During his 11 seasons in the NBA, Hairston averaged 14.8 points and 10.3 rebounds.
After his retirement in 1975, Hairston established the Happy Hairston Youth Foundation in Century City. With financial help from celebrities such as Kelsey Grammer, the foundation found bright children from broken homes and paid for their college education. He also hosted a celebrity golf tournament. He had a small role in the 1981 Happy Days episode "Tall Story," where he played the father of an epileptic high school basketball player.
Hairston died at the age of 58 in L.A. from prostate cancer.