PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers University Hall of Fame basketball player Gene Armstead was inducted into the Penncrest High School Inaugural RTM Athletic Ring of Honor on Thursday evening.
Armstead was an imposing and productive force on both ends of the floor throughout his Rutgers career. The first high school All-American to play basketball at Rutgers, the 6-9 Armstead was, at the time, the tallest player in Scarlet Knight history. At the conclusion of his career, Armstead, was ranked first in RU history in blocked shots, second in rebounding and 10th in points. His .555 career field goal percentage was a Rutgers record that stood for 29 years.
Nicknamed “the dominator” because of his ability to intimidate the opposition around the basket, Armstead poured in 1,046 points in a three-year career as freshmen were not eligible to play varsity in his era. The Media, Pa. native helped lead Rutgers to three winning seasons, an overall record of 45-29 and an appearance in the 1973 NIT. Armstead was the second-leading scorer on the 1970-71 team with a 16.1 average and pulled down a team-leading 11.8 boards in helping RU achieve a 16-7 record. He averaged 13.4 points and 11.8 rebounds in helping to lead the 1971-72 team to a 14-11 mark as a junior. He then averaged 13.7 and 9.4 rebounds per game his senior year for the 1972-1973 team which finished with a 15-11 record.
At Penncrest, Armstead was an All-State selection in 1969 and was first team All-Delco as a junior and senior. He was leading scorer for the 1968 and 1969 Central League Championship teams that made it all the way to the State Championship Semifinals in 1969.
Armstead was one of the three members of the inaugural class. He was joined by cross country and track star Kate Fonshell-Taylor and boys basketball coach Robert Waslick.