The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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April 10, 2013

St. Francis will honor five greats

LORETTO — Five St. Francis men’s basketball greats have been elected to the second class of the school’s Golden Era Hall of Fame.

A 16-member committee selected Gene DeBerardinis, Ed Dugan, Joe Hazinsky, Len Murray and Ed Winters for enshrinement June 29 in an on-campus ceremony.

“Once again, as in 2012, it is with great joy and pride that the St. Francis University Golden Era Hall of Fame announces its inductees for 2013,” said St. Francis President Gabriel Zeis. “The university community is so very proud of its legacy in basketball that truly is celebrated through the achievements of our athletes who are now alumni. Their many contributions to this outstanding legacy will never be forgotten, proof of this is in this induction to the Golden Era Hall of Fame.”

June’s induction festivities are open to the public, as in last year’s inaugural event, which drew nearly 200 attendees to Loretto. This year’s celebration will also serve as the final official event of Father Zeis’ 9-year tenure as university president.

Father Zeis created the Golden Era Men’s Basketball Committee in 2011 to preserve and promote the forgotten story of St. Francis’ men’s basketball’s earlier prowess.

n Joe Hazinsky (1968-1972): A rangy 6-foot-3-inch guard who could shoot, drive and rebound, Hazinsky was a formidable force on the floor for St. Francis during the opening decade of the 1970s. He served as a perfect complement to future NBA great Kevin Porter. Moving into a starting role by his sophomore year, Hazinsky went on to conclude his career with 1,187 points and upon graduation was the 10th leading scorer in St. Francis history with the eighth highest scoring average of 15.4 points per game.  A pure shooter who could just as easily put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket, he piled up points his junior and senior years averaging more than 17 points a contest.

n Ed Winters (1959-62): In guard Ed Winters, St. Francis had a formidable weapon in an era of guard-dominated play. Recruited out of Sharon, Winters and backcourt mate Calvin Fowler of Pittsburgh were a tandem on a team that featured the likes of Joe Aston, Bobby Jones and Wilbur Trosch along the front line.  With the graduation of guard Jack O’Malley, Winters exploded out of the shadows his sophomore year. His scoring numbers held steady throughout his entire varsity career as he put up more than 1,000 shots and his average peaked at 20.5 points per game his junior year and 16.4 his senior season.

n Ed Dugan (1950-54): “Steady Eddie” lettered four years at St. Francis in a time when its teams met with success against some of the accomplished college squads in the East.  Playing on teams dominated by the great Maurice Stokes he managed to score in double figures from his sophomore to senior years, averaging 13.6 points and 7.3 rebounds a game. His teams made it to two NITs at a time when it was the nation’s premier postseason tournament, and he played a key role in the school’s march to the championship game of the National Catholic Invitational, where the Frankies lost to Marquette.

n Len Murray (1964-68): Murray was the consummate swing man who moved seemingly effortlessly in and around the basket, handling the ball, rebounding it, shooting it while defenders concentrated on the likes of a Norm Van Lier and Larry Lewis inside. Murray lent a veteran presence to St. Francis’ teams of the late 1960s. A double-digit scorer for all but one of his four years, he reached the zenith of his career during the 1967-68 campaign when he averaged 16.3 points and nearly 10 rebounds a game as St. Francis compiled a 19-6 record.

n Gene DeBerardinis: (1961-64): DeBerardinis had the rare gift of being in the right place at the right time. He, along with Sandy Williams, were the face of St. Francis basketball from 1962-64. “He was always around the ball,” remembers guard Don Appleman. “Wherever it was in and around the basket he seemed to be in the action.” That sense may explain his ranking among the top three in field goal percentage in the nation his senior year. He averaged nearly 14 points a game his senior year along with seven rebounds.

 Information: 472-3286 or SFUathletics.com/goldenera.

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