Wes Bialosuknia ’67 (CLAS), an outside scoring threat in the days before the three-point shot entered college basketball and one of the most prolific scorers in Husky basketball history, has died. He was 68.
Known as the “Poughkeepsie Popper,” Bialosuknia is at the top of the single-season scoring list for the Huskies for his 1966-67 season, when he averaged 28 points per game. He also is at the top of the career scoring average list, with 23.6 points per game during his three-year varsity career from 1965 to 1967, when he scored 1,673 points during 71 games at a time when freshmen did not play varsity games.
He was drafted by the St. Louis Hawks of the National Basketball Association, but decided to play instead for the Oakland Oaks of the American Basketball Association, where he played for two years.
Bialosuknia was a teammate of another Husky legend, Toby Kimball, and the pair took their team to two NCAA Tournaments in 1965 and 1967 under head coach Fred Shabel, when the Huskies were part of the Yankee Conference.
In their 2005 history of the men’s basketball team, Hoop Tales, Robert Porter ’71 (BUS) and Wayne Norman quoted Shabel as saying, “I coached major college basketball for 10 years, six as an assistant at Duke, and four as UConn head coach, and only one player ever had a full-time unrestricted green light to shoot and that was Wes. He was as good as any collegiate shooter I have ever seen.”
Bialosuknia, the first Academic All-American for the men’s team in 1967, was a part of the UConn All-Century team selected in 2001 and was inducted as a member of the first group of former men’s players in the Huskies of Honor at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion.