Penn Athletics will be inducting its Hall of Fame Class VIII this Saturday, May 5 at the Inn at Penn. As we prepare for the upcoming ceremony, we will be introducing each inductee over the next several days. Click here to find the original release on all the inductees, from February 22.
An absolute beast on the playing floor during his days wearing the Red and Blue, Bruce Lefkowitz is still the standard by which many of today's players are measured by longtime fans of Penn basketball.
A dominating frontcourt presence throughout the mid-1980s, "Lefko" finished his career with 1,443 points, which at the time of his graduation placed him fifth on Penn's all-time scoring chart and still has him 11th all-time within the program. His career field-goal percentage was 58.7, which to this day remains second all-time at Penn -- a stat enhanced by the fact that he took more shots than any of the top six listed in that category.
In addition, Lefkowitz still remains the all-time leader in free throws made (469) and attempted (666), and he is seventh all-time with 766 career rebounds.
Lefkowitz led Penn in scoring in both his junior and senior seasons, averaging 14.2 points per game in 1985-86 and 18.7 in 1986-87. A four-year starter, he led the Quakers in rebounding all four years he played, a feat that has never been duplicated in the annals of Penn basketball.
Lefkowitz shot 60.6 percent from the field his senior year, making 183-of-302 shots. That percentage is third on Penn's single-season list. The year before, he shot 58.7 percent from the field (105-of-179), a percentage that ranks him sixth on the single-season chart.
On Feb. 27, 1987, Lefkowitz scored 31 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in a 95-92 overtime win at Brown. More than 25 years later, it remains the last time a Penn player has snared 20 or more boards in a game.
Lefkowitz was first-team All-Ivy as a senior, second-team All-Ivy as a junior, and All-Ivy honorable mention as a sophomore. He was second-team All-Big 5 as a senior. As a freshman, Lefkowitz was honored with the program's G. Fred DiBona Award as the program's outstanding newcomer.
Penn won a pair of the Ivy League titles during Lefkowitz's career, in 1984-85 and his senior year of 1986-87 (he was a captain of that team). The Quakers went 10-4 both of those seasons. His junior year, the Red and Blue went 9-5 in league play and tied for second place.
Following his Penn career, Lefkowitz played professionally for the Philadelphia Aces of the United States Basketball League (USBL). In 2009, he was elected to the Westchester County (N.Y.) Athletics Hall of Fame.
"At an age where I am long past personal accolades and honors, I am truly humbled at this recognition. I salute my fellow inductees on becoming an indelible part of the history of the finest institution in the country. Someone once said 'no one got more out of his physical ability than Bruce Lefkowitz. He did a lot of things that don't show up in the box score but is remembered more for his willingness to do anything to help his team win.' When I arrived at Penn 29 years ago, it would have been unfathomable to imagine ever being a part of this exclusive fraternity. I only wish my father Burt could be here tonight to share this honor with me, my mom, my wife Coco, our six great kids, my brothers and in-laws. He was at almost every game I played at Penn and was the most valued teammate I ever had. I consider it a privilege to have been a part of the unparalleled tradition of Penn Basketball. My memories transcend any individual performances and center on things like practicing and playing in The Palestra; the time spent on and off the court with my teammates; the Penn/Princeton rivalry; our two Ivy titles and NCAA Tournament bids; the spirit and tradition of the Big 5; and the national schedule against the likes of North Carolina, Notre Dame, USC, Georgia Tech and Virginia. To me, Penn Basketball is about those who came before me and created the legacy -- Beck, Censits, Calhoun, Bilsky, Greene, Wohl, Morse, Price, Salters, McDonald, Little, Haigler, Weinhauer, Harter, Daly, McCloskey, etc. They established the standards of excellence and success that ensuing generations of Quakers like Bromwell, Pitts, Dunphy, Jordan, Allen, Maloney, Onyekwe, Bowman, Jaaber and Rosen have fought fiercely to maintain. It is nice to be recognized for making a small contribution to Penn, but that pales in comparison with all that Penn provided to me. I've been blessed to live a charmed life, and nearly every aspect of my personal and professional lives track back to the decision to attend Penn and the relationships I was able to make. I am proud to have worn the Red and Blue, and will always be a Quaker!"