“Demon of the hardwood floor,” “Lefty,” and “Sure-shot Al” are a few of the nicknames given to Al Clayman. He was an all-around athlete that showed a lot of promise in several different sports, but basketball was easily his favorite and most successful. He played 4 years for coach Skip LaRue, two of which the Tigers were City of Dayton League Champions. Al was the leading scorer on the Tigers basketball team his junior year in city league play. Injuries and illness hampered his play his senior year, which prevented his being named to the All-City team a second time.
After his graduation from Stivers, Al enrolled at The Ohio State University and tried out for the freshman basketball team as a walk on. He was a starter for coach Harold Olsen’s freshman team and was later promoted to the varsity squad, but saw limited action. The Buckeye Varsity had a great team that year, 1944-45. They won 12 and lost 2 in the Big 10, won 15 and lost 5 overall. They were one of 8 teams invited to the NCAA tournament in Madison Square Gardens, beat Kentucky 45 to 37 in round one, but lost to NYU in overtime by the score of 70 to 65.
Unfortunately, Albert’s college basketball career was cut short when in 1945 he was drafted by the US Army to serve in World War II. He served the Overseas Replacement Center in Greensboro, NC and then was transferred to the Army Air Corps, Shepard Field, Texas. Al was discharged from the Army in 1947 and returned to Ohio State University where he majored in engineering. However, the family business, Clayman’s Market, needed his help and Al had to leave Ohio State prior to receiving his degree.
In 1950, Al met the love of his life, Helene, and they were married on Christmas Eve in New York City. They had three children, Wayne, David, and Sherri, all of whom attended The Ohio State University. Shortly after his marriage, Al and his father founded Marysville Steel, Inc. which operates to this day erecting steel buildings.
Still an avid basketball enthusiast and a huge Ohio State fan, Albert annually attends the Ohio State men’s basketball alumni dinner.