The late Aser Nurmi, also known as “Paavo” or “Ace,” was born in Finland and came to the United States when he was about 7 years old. He graduated from Painesville Harvey High School in 1934.
Nurmi was a four-year basketball letterman who played on two of Bluffton’s best teams prior to World War II. The 1934-35 team was 11-5, while the 1935-36 team, with a 12-4 record, matched Bluffton’s all-time best winning percentage and was co-champion of the Northwest Ohio Conference.
The Cleveland Pressonce called Nurmi “inch-for-inch the best player to appear on the Western Reserve court.” The former Bluffton captain recalled his greatest thrill as “racing down the court and throwing in a hook shot from the corner at the last second that gave the Beavers a one-point win over previously undefeated Defiance.”
Nurmi played a few years of semi-pro basketball. He later served on a variety of community and professional boards.
Following his graduation in 1939 with a physical science major, Nurmi held various management positions with Industrial Rayon Corp. until 1972, when he joined R.W. Sidley Inc. as a vice president and director. He retired as company vice president in 1984 but remained on the board. Nurmi died in 2001.