Dr. GEORGE ‘Bunny’ NAUM (CLASS OF 1951)
Stellar athlete who competed and lettered in four sports, including football, basketball, baseball and track for the Maroon Knights, ‘Bunny’ Naum became one of the cornerstones of Wheeling Central Catholic and the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference’s best four-year basketball teams in history. He was a four-year selection as an All-City performer and a multi All-OVAC selection.
The Maroons, coached by Jim Foti and later Joe Iofredo, also won four straight West Virginia State Catholic Tournament championships. In football, Naum earned all-state Catholic laurels as a punter. One of Naum’s memorable games came many years after his high school graduation. During the 1963 basketball season that saw a Wheeling Central team post a perfect 23-0 record, the Maroon Knights played an exhibition game against a star-studded alumni squad and the old grads — including ‘Bunny Naum’ — emerged victorious.
The 1951 Central graduate received a basketball scholarship to Marshall University where for two years he played alongside All-American and future National Basketball Association Hall of Fame member Hal Greer. Naum was drafted into the Army after his sophomore season at Marshall and he served two years at Fort Knox in Kentucky and Munich, Germany. After being discharged he returned to Marshall and worked at several jobs before graduating from Marshall in 1958. He then finished medical school at West Virginia University in 1963 and returned to the Ohio Valley where he served his internship at the old Wheeling Hospital located in North Wheeling before starting his own general practice. Starting in 1964 and for the next 50 years Naum treated patients all over the valley and for a time was the team physician at his beloved Wheeling Central Catholic and also at West Liberty University. Naum also was a team physician for a brief period for the Ohio Valley Panthers, coached and owned by the late J.D. Miller.