Dutch Dehnert
Personal information
Born(1898-04-05)April 5, 1898
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedApril 20, 1979(1979-04-20) (aged 81)
Far Rockaway, New York, U.S.
Listed height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Listed weight210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
Playing career1926–1930
PositionForward / center
Career history
As player:
1926–1928Original Celtics
1928–1930Cleveland Rosenblums
As coach:
1940–1941Detroit Eagles
1944–1946Sheboygan Red Skins
1946–1947Cleveland Rebels
Career highlights and awards
As player:
  • ABL champion (1927–1930)

As head coach:

  • WPBT champion (1941)
Basketball Hall of Fame as player

Henry G. "Dutch" Dehnert (April 5, 1898 – April 20, 1979) was an American basketball player whose career lasted from 1915 to 1935.

Dehnert, a bulky forward born in New York City, New York, is mostly known for his time with the Original Celtics and is sometimes credited with inventing the pivot play, which eventually led to the 3 second violation rule. He later coached several teams in the NBL, ABL and BAA.

In the early days of the sport, there was a "running guard" who brought the ball up the court and passed or attacked the basket, like a point or combo guard. There was also a "stationary guard" who made long shots and hung back on defense effectively cherry-picking before there was the rule of backcourt violations.[1] The pivot play was invented by Dehnert when during set plays, he kept running into the opposing team's stationary guard.

One of those teams Dehnert coached was the Sheboygan Red Skins, who won NBL divisional titles in 1944–45 and 1945–46 under Dehnert's guidance. Dehnert's greatest coup during his time in Sheboygan was his signing of three East Coast stars: Al Lucas of Fordham, Al Moschetti of St. John's and Bobby Holm of Seton Hall. Buoyed by this added strength, the Red Skins took a 2–0 lead over the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons in the 1945 NBL championship series, only to be swept in the remaining three games. In 1946, Dehnert led Sheboygan to a meeting with the vaunted Rochester Royals in the championship series. Rochester swept the Red Skins. The next season, Dehnert became first head coach of the Cleveland Rebels for the Basketball Association of America's first season.[2] He coached Ken Sailors who pioneered the jump shot.

He was the uncle of Providence Steamrollers player Red Dehnert.[3]

Head coaching record

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %


Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
Cleveland 1946–47 37 17 20 .459 (fired)



  1. ^ Robert Peterson (2002). Cages to Jump Shots: Pro Basketball's Early Years. U o6e6ef Nebraska Press. pp. 84–. ISBN 0-8032-8772-0.
  2. ^ "Dehnert to Coach Cleveland Cagers". Toledo Blade. June 21, 1946. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  3. ^ "Brooklyn Youngsters Win Y.M.C.A Tourney Opener" (PDF). Daily Sentinel. Rome, New York. March 14, 1942. p. 7. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  4. ^ "Dutch Dehnert: Coaching Record, Awards". Basketball Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 5 February 2024.

Further reading