Bill Thieben, a 1956 graduate with degrees in history and political science, was a member of the Hofstra Men’s Basketball team from 1953 through 1956 and was the first “big man” in program history. One of the most dominating players in his era, Bill scored 2,045 points and grabbed 1,837 rebounds during his 76-game, three-year career. He is Hofstra’s career leader in rebounds and ranks fifth in career scoring. His 26.9 career scoring average is the highest in school history, as is his 24.2 rebound per game average.
Bill was a Look Magazine All-American in 1955 and 1956 and captured the 1956 Haggerty Award given to the top player in the New York metropolitan area, while also earning three All-Metropolitan Basketball selections.
Selected by the Fort Wayne Pistons (NBA) in the 1956 draft, Bill played with the Pistons from 1956 to 1958, seeing action in 85 games.
In 1958 Bill began a long and illustrious teaching career by becoming a history teacher at Bay Shore High School. He then became assistant principal in 1961 and worked there until 1971 when he became principal at Rocky Point High School. He served Rocky Point for 23 years before retiring from the public school system in 1994.
In addition to his work on the scholastic level, Bill has also served as an adjunct professor of history and sociology at Suffolk Community College, LIU-C.W. Post and Long Island University, and as a professor of secondary education at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue.
Bill was inducted into the Suffolk County Sports Hall of Fame in 1990 and was named a Colonial Athletic Association Basketball Legend in 2003. In 2008 he had his jersey (#93) retired by the University.