Thursday, September 1, 2011

Loss of Doran, former Jaspars' Star, Felt

J. Willard Doran graduated from Manhattan College long before the MAAC existed, but his contributions to not only basketball but sports in general was felt or many years after his own college playing days.

Doran, a 1954 graduate of Manhattan and a standout basketball player there ... he was the captain of the 1953-54 team ... died earlier this week. He was a native and lifelong resident of Troy, N.Y.

He was a three-sport star (basketball, football, baseball) at the high school level at Troy's LaSalle Institute, played at Manhattan (his 12.7 rebound-per-game average in the 1952-53 season remains seventh-best in Jaspars' history) and, after graduation, was part of the first-ever U.S. Army basketball team stationed in Fort Dix, N.J.

Doran's connection to sports, though, continued after his own playing career.

He moved to officiating in the 1960s, an avocation he pursued for more than three decades. The tall, distinguished-looking Doran was a commanding figure as an official for both football and basketball. Your hoopscribe probably attended several dozen games that Doran officiated, and was always impressed by how he positively interracted with coaches and players.

Doran was widely recognized, along with the late Dom Denio, as one of the best official ever to work games in upstate New York. He and Denio were the only officials in the inaugural group selected to the Capital District's Football Hall of Fame in 2010.

Here's a a tribute to Doran that appeared in The Troy Record, with more details about his exemplary life and longtime dedication to sports:

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