Duquesne University Men's Basketball History
The Duquesne University Department of Athletics retired the jerseys of five of its all-time greatest players during halftime of the Xavier game on Jan. 27, 2001. Chuck Cooper, Sihugo Green, Norm Nixon, Dick Ricketts and Willie Somerset all had replica jerseys unveiled from the Palumbo Center rafters. Here is a brief career summary of the five honorees:
#15 CHUCK COOPER (1947-50)
Led the Dukes to a 78-19 record and two NIT appearances in his four-year career ... captained a 1949-50 squad that finished with a 23-6 record and No. 6 national ranking ... the '50 Dukes were the first Duquesne team to be ranked for an entire season by the Associated Press ... Cooper went on to become the first black player - and first Duquesne player - drafted by an NBA team when the Boston Celtics selected him in the second round of the 1950 draft ... played in the NBA for six seasons ... died on Feb. 5, 1984.
#11 SIHUGO GREEN (1954-56)
Is the only two-time consensus All- American in DU history (1955 & 1956) ... averaged 19.8 points and 11.5 rebounds per game as a Duke ... DU went 65-17 with three NIT appearances, including the 1955 NIT title, in his three-year career ... the '55 title stands as the only national championship ever won by a Duquesne University sports team ... went on to have a nine-year NBA career, capped by a World Championship with the 1966 Boston Celtics ... died on Oct. 4, 1980.
#10 NORM NIXON (1974-77)
Was the first Player of the Year in Atlantic 10 history ... handed out a school record 577 assists while averaging 17.4 ppg. for his career ... was the 1977 first round NBA draft choice of the Los Angeles Lakers ... had the longest NBA career of any Duquesne player at 10 years ... was a member of the 1978 NBA All-Rookie Team ... was a two-time NBA All-Star ... was a starter for Los Angeles Lakers World Championship teams in 1980 and 1982 ... finished his NBA career with 12,065 points and 6,386 assists ... currently resides in Santa Monica, Calif.
#12 DICK RICKETTS (1952-55)
Averaged 17.7 points and 12.2 rebounds per game in leading the Dukes to a 92-19 record and four NIT appearances in his four-year career ... helped Duquesne to a Top 10 Associated Press final rank in each of his four seasons ... was a consensus first team All-American in 1955 along with teammate Si Green ... captained the '55 NIT Champion Dukes ... earned consensus second team All-America honors in 1954 ... is still DU's all-time leading scorer (1,963) and rebounder (1,359) ... played three seasons in the NBA ... also played briefly for Major League Baseball's St. Louis Cardinals ... died March 6, 1988.
#24 WILLIE SOMERSET (1962-65)
Scored more points in three seasons
(1,725) than any other Duquesne player ...
topped the 30-point mark a school record
16 times in his three-year career ... was
forced to miss the 1962-63 season with a
leg injury ... led DU to NIT appearances in
1962 & 1964 ... earned All-America honors
in 1965 ... averaged 22.7 ppg. for his
career ... played professionally for three
seasons ... currently resides in