After high school, Sayger excelled in four sports during his postgraduate year at Culver Military Academy. He had planned to resume his education at Purdue University but was recruited, and poached, by Heidelberg College in Ohio.
At Heidelberg, Sayger excelled at both football and basketball. He graduated in 1920, following a brief stint overseas during WWI. Sayger briefly played pro football in Ohio, returned to Heidelberg as a coach, then retired in 1930 to start a publishing company.
Evolving Basketball Rules
In the early 1930’s, Sayger established a booster club for local high school athletes in Tiffin, Ohio. In March 1932, while hosting an exhibition game, Sayger modified the rules to improve the pace of play. Shots within 15 feet were worth a single point and shots from outside 25 feet were worth three. This occurred a full 35 years prior to the ABA’s incorporation of the first “official” three-point line.
Almost fifty years later, the first three-pointer in NBA history had a Hoosier connection too. On October 12th, 1979, Celtics guard Chris Ford made the first three-point shot in the NBA. This feat has been mostly forgotten thanks to his teammate, Indiana-born Hall of Famer Larry Bird, who made his pro debut the same night.