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Duquesne Basketball Star Garry Nelson Dies at 73



Duquesne University has announced the death of former Dukes basketball star Garry A. Nelson at the age of 73.

Garry and his twin brother, Barry, starred for Duquesne in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. In his three years with Duquesne, the “Nelson Twins” were responsible for taking to the NCAA (1969 & 1971) and NIT Tournaments (1970). In his three seasons with the program, Duquesne compiled a record of 59-16.

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Garry Nelson finished with Duquesne career with 958 points (12.8 points per game) and 722 rebounds (9.6 rebounds per game). Garry led the team in field-goal percentage all three seasons and in rebounding as a sophomore and junior.

Following his college career, Gary Nelson was drafted in the fifth round of the NBA draft by the Buffalo Braves. He was also selected in the ABA draft by the Dallas Chaparrals. He also went on to play one season overseas in Italy.

Garry Nelson was also a giant in the Pittsburgh community working in the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office and later at the law firm of Grogan, Graffam, McGinley and Lucchino before working as a contract attorney and solo practitioner.

Duquesne vice president for athletics Dave Harper issued this statement on the passing of Nelson.

“Garry Nelson was not only a legend in regards to Duquesne basketball history, but truly one of the great men I’ve every had a chance to meet. We will miss him and send his family and friends our deepest thoughts, prayers, and condolences. We will make it a point to honor him this upcoming basketball season.”

Nelson attended Fox Chapel High School in the Pittsburgh area. While at Duquesne, he once appeared on an episode of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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