AKRON, Ohio – Wake Forest basketball legend Dickie Hemric, the school’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder, has died at the age of 83. Hemric passed away Thursday, August 3 in Arkon, Ohio.
Hemric played for the Demon Deacons from 1952-55 and was the Atlantic Coast Conference’s first star, headlining the first two seasons of the league. The 1954 and 1955 ACC Player of the Year, he remains the conference’s career rebounding leader and held the ACC career scoring title for over 50 years before being eclipsed recently by J.J. Redick of Duke and Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina. A two-time All-American, he was the first Wake Forest player to earn first-team All-America honors in 1955.
Ned Dixon Hemric was born August 29, 1933 in Jonesville, North Carolina. After graduating from Jonesville High School, he attended Wake Forest where he was one of the most dominating players in ACC history. At 6 feet-6 inches and 220 pounds, Hemric played power forward for the Demon Deacons and averaged 24.9 points and 17.3 rebounds per game over his four seasons. The recipient of the first two ACC Player of the Year awards, his No. 24 is retired by Wake Forest. In addition to his ACC record of 1,802 career rebounds, Hemric also holds the NCAA Division I free throw records for career attempts (1,359) and made free throws (905). The all-time leading scorer at Wake Forest with 2,587 career points, he holds over 10 school records which stand over six decades later.
One of his most memorable games came against Virginia in 1955 when he scored a career-high 48 points.
After graduation, Hemric was drafted by the NBA’s Boston Celtics with the No. 10 pick in the 1955 NBA Draft. He played only two seasons as a professional before retiring from basketball. In his final season on the court, Hemric was a member of the Celtics’ 1957 NBA Champion squad, winning the first of the franchises’ record 17 NBA titles. During his post-basketball life, he worked for the Goodyear Tire Company at their world headquarters in Akron, Ohio. He retired as a product manager for highway truck tires thirty years later.
Hemric is survived by his wife Jan and their three children, Ned, Jr., John Robert and Cindy Jolivette, along with seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.