Fred Gordon was All High in Cross Country for Bennett High School in 1 964 and 1 965, finishing 5th and 2nd, respectively, in those two years in the All High meet. The top five finishers in the All High Cross Country Championships were automatically declared All High by the association’s rules.
Gordon also starred in track and finished second in the mile run in the All High meet with an outstanding time of 4:36. Equally impressive is that Gordon also received a major letter in swimming. Gordon also achieved a major varsity letter in swimming. He will always be remembered as one of Bennett’s most versatile athletes by achieving major letters in three different sports.
Gordon credits much of his success to teachers such as Yvonne Lewis, his computer math teacher, and coaches Byron Vickery, Nick Mogavero, Elmer Rosenthal, and Gary Berkman.
After high school Gordon trained with good friend Delbert Mullen. Mullen’s training methods led Gordon to a successful 30 year running career, which was highlighted by an incredible 2:25 time in the Boston Marathon in 1 978.
Bob Lanier was an outstanding basketball player. Leading Bennett in scoring in his junior and senior years, he made first team All High in each of those years. In addition, he was named to the All-WNY first team during his senior year. Lanier led all Yale Cup scorers his senior year, averaging 25 points per game, as was the main man as Bennett captured the Yale Cup and the Board of Education Playoff Trophy. Bennett has won only 9 Yale Cups in its 77 year history, and there is little doubt they would not have won the city championship without his superb scoring and defensive skills.
His storied basketball career after graduating from Bennett is synonymous with success. Highlights include leading St. Bonaventure University to the 1970 Final Four, as well as being named first team AllAmerica. A high achieving 14 year long professional career in the NBA was culminated with is induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts on May 11, 1992.
Bob Lanier’s off-court recognition rivaled his on-court production. He was the 1974 recipient of the Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award by the Professional Basketball Writers’ Association. He was presented the Jackie Robinson Award in 1981 by the YMCA of Buffalo and Erie County, and he is the former president of the NBA Players’ Association.
Jimmy was a three sport athlete at Bennett after transferring over from East H.S. A three year Cross Country runner, Jimmy helped the Tigers win the Columbia Cup in 1964 and 1965. He played two years of varsity basketball, and was on the 1966 Yale Cup champion team. Jimmy played two years of varsity baseball as a first and third baseman, and made first team All-High both seasons. Following high school, Jimmy was signed to a professional baseball contract by the Detroit Tigers. During his high school years, Jimmy was also Buffalo men’s table tennis champion from 1963 to 1966. After his attempt at professional baseball, Jimmy enrolled at the University of Buffalo, earning a BA degree in Business Ed. While in college, Jimmy won the National Intercollegiate Table Tennis championship.
Jimmy’s interesting working career saw him working befor the F.B.I. for 10 years, and he taught school in Detroit, MI, as well as 1 year at Bennett H.S. Today Jimmy is a professional fisherman on a national level, competing in fishing contests January through November.