St. Norbert HS 1956
2020 Athletic Division
Joe Mack was a boarding student from Chicago who entered St. Norbert High School for his junior year. The 6-foot-8 Mack made an immediate impact on the basketball court. Playing for Hall of Fame coach Fred Dillon, Mack scored a brilliant 1,209 points in only two seasons. He set school records for points in a season with 674 and points in a single game with 51. He also set a Green Bay metro record by averaging 32.3 points per game during his senior year.
As a senior in 1956, he led the school to a state championship by winning the St. Norbert College Invitational. Mack started the tournament with 26 points against Eau Claire Regis in a game that SNHS won 78-50. In the second round, he scored 35 points and grabbed 23 rebounds against Milwaukee Notre Dame, leading SNHS to a 72-60 victory. In that game, Mack squared off against future Marquette star and NBA player Don Kojia, outscoring him by 14 points. Mack scored 32 points in a narrow victory against Menasha St Mary to win the championship 70-68.
Mack was selected for the All American All-Star team, a precursor to The McDonald’s All-American Team, which instantly branded him as one of the top high-school players in the United States.
Mack was a very highly recruited player out of high school, including an at-home recruitment visit by Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and College Basketball Hall of Fame member Ray Meyers for De Paul University, Chicago. He was also recruited by such teams as USC, Nebraska, Georgia Tech, North Carolina State (known at the time as North Carolina College of Agriculture and Engineering), and St. Mary, San Francisco. He chose Marquette and played for three years before falling out with his very difficult coach and leaving the team.
After college, Mack moved back to Chicago and lived there until 1972. He then moved to Phoenix and worked as a painting contractor, opening his own firm.