Former Husky basketball player Tony Hanson dies

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Former Connecticut basketball player Tony Hanson, left, shares a light moment with UConn Director of Athletics Jeff Hathaway as Hansen was honored at a basketball game between UConn and Syracuse at Gampel Pavilion on Feb. 5, 2007. (Bob Child, File/AP)

Former Connecticut basketball player Tony Hanson, left, shares a light moment with UConn Director of Athletics Jeff Hathaway as Hansen was honored at a basketball game between UConn and Syracuse at Gampel Pavilion on Feb. 5, 2007. (Bob Child, File/AP)

According to several media reports, the third-leading scorer in UConn men’s basketball history Tony Hanson died Sunday of a heart attack. He was 63 years old.

“Hanson was not only a hero on the court, but off the court as well, using his unique ability to engage and enable the potential of teenagers with special needs,” UConn Athletics said in a statement. “In 1997, he set up a non-profit organization called Reach for Success, now renamed as Hoop Dreams, part of a United Kingdom government youth initiative.”

The former guard finished his UConn career with 1,990 points and averaged over 25 points per-game as a senior. Hanson was one of the first former UConn legends to be inducted into the Huskies of Honor in Gampel Pavilion, back in 2007. During his four years at UConn, Hanson was 73-38.

In 1977, the prolific scorer helped lead his team to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. His many accolades include being named the Yankee Conference Rookie of the Year in 1974 and being selected to the All-Yankee Conference first team in the following two seasons.

Following his career at UConn, Hanson was drafted in the third round by New Orleans, but never made the regular season roster, instead pursuing a playing career in Europe. Once he retired, he coached the Tees Valley Mohawks, who he was associated with for two decades.

Once the news of his passing was released, many friends, teammates and players whom he coached took to social media to share their emotions. Joe D’Ambrosio, a Connecticut sportscaster, said on Twitter that Hanson will be missed.

“There was never a smoother basketball player in @UConnMBB history than Tony Hanson. Terrific player in the mid 70’s. Glad I got the chance to get to know him a little. Sad day for #HuskyNation RIP Tony,” D’Ambrosio wrote.

According to an article by Dom Amore of the Hartford Courant, Hanson moved back to Connecticut in recent years and became involved with the young people here, working as a mentor with the Hartford Knights organization.

Hanson is survived by his wife, Sandy and his children, Chris, Nicki, Greg, David and Alex.


Michael Logan is the sports editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at michael.logan@uconn.edu.

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