ICYMI: Columbia Athletics to name Levien Gymnasium court in honor of Jonathan Schiller

On Wednesday, Columbia Athletics announced that the basketball court at Levien Gymnasium will be named for alumnus Jonathan Schiller.

Schiller has two diplomas from Columbia University, an undergraduate degree in 1969 and another from the law school in 1973.  He played center for the Lions during his last three years in college, including the Ivy League championship season of 1967-68.  He took part in 61 games over his career, averaging 3.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 15.5 minutes per game.

The 1967-68 team went 23-5 overall and 13-1 in Ivy League play.  After finishing the regular season tied with Princeton at 13-1, the Lions defeated the Tigers in a one-game playoff, 92-74, to capture the league’s automatic bid to the then-23-team NCAA Tournament.

Columbia’s last title team, coached by Jack Rohan, featured four All-Ivy players – Jim McMillian and Dave Newmark on the first team with Heyward Dotson and Roger Walaszek on the second team.  The Lions, which had a 16-game win streak, were ranked as high as No. 5 in the nation and finished the season at No. 7.

The Light Blue defeated La Salle in the opening round of the Eastern Regional, before losing by two points in overtime to Lefty Driesell’s Davidson in the second round.  The Lions bounced back to defeat the nation’s No. 3 team, St. Bonaventure with future Hall of Famer Bob Lanier, 95-75, in the Regional Consolation game to take third place.

Schiller is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, where he does commercial litigation, arbitration and oversight of the firm’s pro-bono program.  He was named co-chair of the University Trustees in 2014 and served as sole chair from 2015 to 2018.  In 2017, he was named to the inaugural class of Legends of Ivy Basketball for achievements and contributions to the Ivy League.

Columbia is now the fourth Ivy League program to have a named or sponsored basketball court:

Columbia (2020): Jonathan D. Schiller – Undergraduate ’69; Law ’73; MBB ’66-’69; Legend of Ivy Basketball ’17
Harvard (2018): Thomas Stemberg – Undergraduate ’71; Business ’73; Friends of Harvard Basketball Founder ’74; Endowed MBB Head Coaching Position ’15; Legend of Ivy Basketball ’18
Penn (2018): Macquarie Investment Management
Princeton (2008): Pete Carril – MBB Head Coach ’67-’96; Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame ’97; National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame ’06

The official naming ceremony will take place at halftime of the Columbia men’s basketball game against Yale on Sat., Feb. 22.