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Chet Forte

  • Sport: Basketball
  • Decade Inducted: 80s

Possibly the greatest basketball player in the history of Columbia University—as well as an Emmy-winning producer and director..

Chet Forte was born Fulvio Chester Forte on August 7, 1935 and made basketball history with Columbia before making sports broadcasting history later in life.

Forte’s every move was fueled by his desire to be the best at everything he tried, and his role as guard was no exception. He was a dominant scorer, creative and talented, and posessed a deadly two-handed set shot.

Twelve records Forte established at Columbia still stand, including season and career scoring. He has been called “possibly the finest basketball player in Columbia history.”

In 1957, his senior year at Columbia, Forte was consensus All-American and named UPI Player of the Year. He had scored 694 points in 24 games that year – a 28.9 average, credited to his deadly accuracy and ingenuity.

Forte also earned the Haggerty Award as the top player in the New York metro area and was both All-Ivy and All-Metropolitan. By the time he left Columbia, he had erased virtually every school scoring record.

Forte went on to a long and illustrious career in sports broadcasting, where he earned his nickname as one of the “Loose Cannons.” He helped launch Monday Night Football, for which he won 11 Emmy Awards as producer and director. Forte was also a colorful commentator. He was elected to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1985 and died of a heart attack on May 18, 1995