NBRPA mourns the passing of NBA’s first ever Rookie of the Year

meinekeThe NBRPA has extended condolences to the family of former NBA player Don “Monk” Meineke, who passed away on September 3 at the age of 82 due to a lengthy illness.

Meineke, one of the greatest basketball players in University of Dayton history. He was a two-time All-American and is still the sixth-leading scorer in UD history with 1,866 points.

The 6-foot-7 Meineke, a graduate of Wilbur Wright High School, averaged 20.6 points while leading the Flyers to an NIT runner-up finish in 1951.

The UD Hall of Famer averaged 21.1 points per game as a senior and led the Flyers to another second-place finish in the NIT when that event was considered on equal footing with the NCAA tournament.

He was also the NBA’s first ever Rookie of the Year Award winner during the 1953 season while playing for the Fort Wayne Pistons.

Meineke played five seasons in the NBA for the Pistons, Rochester Royals and Cincinnati Royals.  Meineke registered 2,338 points and 1,692 rebounds during his tenure in the NBA.

During his rookie season, Meineke led the NBA in personal fouls and disqualifications. His 26 disqualifications during his rookie season still is a NBA single-season record.

Meineke was born on October 30, 1930 in Dayton, Ohio.  He attended Wilbur Wright High School in Dayton, and then went on to play collegiately at the University of Dayton.

In 1962, Meineke was inducted into the University of Dayton Hall of Fame.


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