Much has been written about John Mahnken as the definitive "early era" center at Georgetown. His immediate predecessor, largely forgotten, also set a high standard.
Bill Bornheimer arrived at Georgetown in the fall of 1939 as the tallest player to date (6-5) in the history of the program. A starting center on the freshman team of 1939-40, Bornheimer joined the varsity in 1940-41 and proceeded to make an immediate impact upon the scoring charts. Bornheimer's efforts inside paced the Hoyas as they marched to the most wins in the program's history to date, winning 16 of 20 games. Bornheimer led the team in scoring with an 8.4 points per game average, with a season high 15 in a 57-49 upset of Temple before 7,000 at Washington's Riverside Stadium, a record home crowd.
Bornheimer's junior season was also notable. His 23 points in a 76-33 rout of American set high hopes for the 1941-42 squad, but opposing teams soon focused on containing Bornheimer in the middle. While still contributing in rebounds and defensive pressure, Bornheimer managed just one double figure game the rest of the season, but nonetheless finished third in scoring with a comparable eight point average.
A promising senior season was cut short by the institution of an accelerated class schedule for the University during World War II. As a result, Bornheimer would graduate early in January 1943, unable to play for the varsity that went on to the NCAA finals. With height restrictions limiting his military draft status, Bornheimer spent 1943 playing in the fledgling American Basketball League, finishing second in scoring for the Harrisburg Senators. Bornheimer eventually went into military duty, and finished his basketball career after the war with the ABL's Jersey City Atoms. A younger brother, Jake, went on to play at Muhlenberg and later with the Philadelphia Warriors of the NBA.
Bornheimer averaged 8.2 points per game in his two season. Between 1928 and 1942, only one man, all-American Ed Hargaden (1932-35), posted a higher career average.