Ernie Grunfeld’s family emigrated from Romania when he was nine years old, although he did not become a naturalized U.S. citizen until 1975. Living near New York City, he quickly became a basketball star and accepted a scholarship to the University of Tennessee. Grunfeld was one of the Volunteer’s greatest players ever, and with teammate Bernard King, led Tennessee to some of its best years in that era. Grunfeld won a gold medal in 1975 in the Pan American Games before he added his Olympic gold in 1976. After graduation in 1977 Grunfeld was drafted in the first round by the Milwaukee Bucks. After two fair seasons with the Bucks he was traded to the Kansas City Kings. After graduation from college Ernie Grunfeld felt it necessary to repay the school that had helped him so much. A true measure of the man is that he immediately donated a portion of his first-year NBA salary to start a scholarship fund at the University of Tennessee. While many professional athletes have formed such funds, school officials said they knew of no one who had ever done this in his first year in pro sports. Grunfled played for nine years in the NBA, with Milwaukee, Kansas City, and finishing with the New York Knicks. He later became an executive in the NBA, first with the Knicks, and later with the Milwaukee Bucks and Washington Wizards.