Charles Washington Criss, Jr.
Charles Washington Criss, Jr. was born November 6, 1948 in Valhalla, New York. He is the oldest of eleven children born to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Criss, Sr.. The family moved to Yonkers in 1957.
He attended Yonkers High School and Gorton High School from 1964 to 1966, where he earned All City and All County honors. In his senior year he led Gorton High School to the Class AA State Championship and was voted MVP of that tournament.
He attended New Mexico Junior College from 1966 to 1967 where he was voted Junior College All American. During this year he was the fifth leading scorer in the country averaging over 30 points per game.
Charlie then moved on to New Mexico State University from 1967 to 1970. While at New Mexico State he was voted first Team All American. He was the point guard for the team that played in the final four NCAA Championships and finished third in the country. He was voted MVP in the Dedication Tournament for the Pan American Center where New Mexico plays all their home basketball games. His picture now hangs in the Pan American Center and in the New Mexico State University Hall of Fame.
It took Charlie seven years to make it to the NBA. For these seven years he played in the Semi Pro Basketball League. He lead the League in scoring for three straight years, and was voted MVP for two straight years. He won two League Championships and was voted MVP for the League Championship Tournament.
At age 28 he finally made it to the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks. He was the oldest rookie ever to play in the NBA, and was the shortest player in the NBA for seven years The Atlantic Hawks have voted him Most Inspirational Player.
Charlie is currently residing in Georgia and is working to obtain an Undergraduate Degree from Georgia State College.