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If you looked at the above picture from September of 1974 at the Mass Maritime Academy, you probably could identify most of the guys.  Starting at the left is the great John Havlicek, with the clutch Glenn McDonald to his right.  You may not recognize assistant coach John Killillea (I'd forgive you if you're younger and that one slipped your mind) but surely you'd know Don Nelson (#19 is hanging in Boston today) to John's right followed by Kevin Stacom.  Yet standing there to the right, wearing #11 is someone you may not recognize.  Dave Sorenson.  He was on the team in the preseason but didn't make the team. 

Dave was a star player at Findlay HS in Ohio before starring at Ohio State University.  OSU made the Final Four in 1968, knocking off Kentucky behind a game-winning shot from Sorenson.

He was 6'8 forward who had the nickname of "Sunshine" and stayed in his hometown state upon leaving OSU, being drafted by the Cavs in 1971 in the second round with the 26th overall pick (meaning he'd be a clear first round pick today).  In his rookie year, this happened in a regular season game:





Anyone remember this game?  Clearly it would've been a devastating loss.

After two seasons with the Cavs, Dave was traded in 1972 to the Sixers for Bob Rule yet never wound up appearing in any games for them.  

Dave showed up at Celtics' training camp in 1974 where he was in a battle for a "quick forward" position on the team (TB Tangent: it's amazing how terms from back then just aren't used anymore.  "Quick forward" is rarely used.  "Cornerman" is never used.  Neither is "pivot".  Who remembers John Thompson's quotes??).  

Dave's competition to make the team was Benny Clyde, Phil Hankinson and the aforementioned Glenn McDonald.  Eventually McDonald and Hankinson made it and it came down to Clyde and Sorenson.  Dave had shot the ball very well and rebounded adequately during training camp.  But it wasn't meant to be.  The talented Clyde wound up making the team.  Dave never did play again in the NBA.

In looking into more of what Dave was up to after his playing career I found out he sadly passed away from cancer in July of 2002 at the age of 54.   He is buried in Van Horn Cemetery today in Ohio.



Who knows what would've happened if Dave suited up and played a regular season or post season game for the Celtics.  Would he have been a difference-maker?  Carved out a niche in Celtic' lore?  At the very least he could've appeared in WTHHT.  

All I know is that Dave Sorenson almost played for the Celtics.  And now, you know that too.


tb727 11/16/2013 02:37:00 PM Edit
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