October 28, 2013

The NBRPA offers condolences to the family of former NBA draft pick and ABA player Wes Bialosuknia, who passed away at the age of 68.

The 6-foot-2 native of Poughkeepsie, NY played collegiately for the University of Connecticut, where he still holds the Huskies’ season and career scoring average records and was named a member of UConn Basketball’s All-Century Team. His 1966-67 average of 28 PPG ranked fifth in the nation and he still holds the UConn records for career scoring average at 23.6 PPG, as well as consecutive foul shots made (43). In 1967, he was named MVP of the annual North-South College All-Star Game.

Bialosuknia was selected 37th overall by the St. Louis Hawks in the 1967 NBA Draft, however he instead made his way to the Oakland Oaks of the ABA. From 1967-68, the “Poughkeepsie Popper” played in 70 games for the Oaks, making his mark as one of pro basketball’s first 3-point shooting specialists. Bialosuknia finished second in the league in 3-point shooting percentage that season and his nine consecutive 3-pointers made is tied for the most in ABA history.

Bialosuknia lived in Bristol, Conn., and after his season with the Oaks he became a reporter for the Hartford Times. In life after basketball, Bialosuknia was an avid hiker and outdoorsman and also coached youth basketball.

Bialosuknia is survived by his wife of 39 years, Maureen (Tackett) Bialosuknia; daughter Jane, son-in-law Arturo Portillo, their children, Tomas and Sophia; son John and daughter-in-law Angela (Kress) Bialosuknia; sister Jane and brother-in-law Tracy Scott; mother-in-law Mary Tackett; several brothers and sisters-in-law: Ann and Clyde Fitch, James Tackett, Tom and Diane Tackett, Barbara Meyers, Fran and George Showman, Jerry and Josie Tackett and many nieces and nephews.