UD legend Meineke dies

Published: Wednesday, September 04, 2013 @ 12:36 AM
Updated: Wednesday, September 04, 2013 @ 12:36 AM

            14 May 09. Don
14 May 09. Don "Monk" Meineke, a former University of Dayton basketball star, shows a picture displaying that he was the first NBA Rookie of the Year, in 1953.(Ron Alvey)

Don “Monk” Meineke, one of the greatest basketball players in University of Dayton history and the NBA’s first rookie of the year, died Tuesday after a lengthy illness. He was 83.

Meineke was the cornerstone for coach Tom Blackburn’s program as it gained national acclaim in the early 1950s. He was a two-time All-American and is still the sixth-leading scorer in UD history with 1,866 points.

The 6-foot-7 Meineke, a graduate of Wilbur Wright High School, averaged 20.6 points while leading the Flyers to an NIT runner-up finish in 1951. The UD Hall of Famer averaged 21.1 points per game as a senior and led the Flyers to another second-place finish in the NIT when that event was considered on equal footing with the NCAA tournament.

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He played five seasons in the NBA, being named the top rookie in 1953 with the Fort Wayne Pistons.

Funeral arrangements are pending.