Former Celtic Jim Loscutoff has died at the age of 85 from complications from pneumonia and Parkinson’s disease.
The No. 4 pick out of Oregon in 1955 played nine seasons for the Celtics, winning seven championships before retiring in 1964.
Affectionately nicknamed “Loscy” and “Jungle Jim,” the forward averaged 6.2 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Perhaps his finest season came in his second year, when he averaged 10.6 points and 10.4 rebounds.
When it came time for the organization to salute him, he asked that his number 18 not be retired – he wanted other Celtics to wear it. The team honored that request by putting “Loscy” on a banner and raising it to the rafters.
Dave Cowens would go on to wear No. 18, which was retired in 1981 after Cowens finished his Celtics career.
The Celtics released a statement, remembering Loscutoff.
“The entire Boston Celtics organization and our ownership group are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jim Loscutoff, a Celtics Legend and seven-time NBA champion.
“We keep his wife Lynn, daughters Holly and Carol, son Jim, Jr. and his entire family in our thoughts at this time.”
Loscutoff was born in 1930 in San Francisco. An avid athlete, he attended Palo Alto High school before moving on to Sacramento Jr. College. He was recruited to play basketball at the University of Oregon, and also served in the Army at Fort Ord in California.
After retiring from the Celtics, he became a teacher at Boston State College and was head coach of its basketball team.
He and his wife, Lynn, moved to Andover, where they founded Camp Evergreen in 1964, a children’s day camp. The camp continues today under the direction of their son Jim and his wife, Debby Loscutoff.
“The best way to describe my dad, is lovable,” Jim Jr. said. “He was definitely a gentle giant to everyone who knew him, definitely a real character. I had a great life as his son.”
A memorial service is planned for Monday, Dec. 21 at 11 a.m. at South Church at 41 Central Street in Andover.
The family requests any remembrances be sent to the Parkinson Association of Southwest Florida, located at 1048 Goodlette Rd. #201, Naples, Fl 34102.