These excerpts are taken from an Obit published in the Toledo Blade news July 11, 2002
Basketball Star praised for faith
FINDLAY - David L. Sorenson, a former Ohio State University basketball player who was the team’s eighth all-time leading scorer and later played several seasons in the National Basketball Association, died of cancer Tuesday in Hospice House, Cleveland. The Findlay native was 54 and had lived in Rocky River, Ohio, for about a year.
Mr. Sorenson was the starting center on the Buckeye’s 1968 Big Ten championship team, and it was his game-winning basket against Kentucky that sent the Buckeyes into the 1968 NCAA Final Four.
He scored 1,622 points while at OSU and his career scoring average of 21.1 points per game ranks fifth. His career 9.9 rebounds per game ranks sixth.
The Cleveland Cavaliers drafted him into the National Basketball Association in April, 1970. In his 21/2 seasons there, he was a 6-foot, 8-inch forward. Then he was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, where he played for half a season. In the NBA, he averaged 8.1 points.
In his collegiate days, he was regarded as exceptionally agile and coordinated. A smooth outside shooter, his rebounding was done with a flowing, finessing style without elbows flying or legs kicking.
From there, he played for several European teams in Italy. "He did very well there," Steve Sorenson, his son, said. "He averaged 26 to 27 points per game."
Mr. Sorenson retired from basketball in 1980. Married to his high school sweetheart, he returned to Findlay. For nine years he was a sales representative for Converse, maker of the Chuck Taylor canvas high-top sneaker.
For a time, he was co-owner of Totem Nuts, a retail shop in Findlay, and later was national sales manager for Peterson Nut Co.
"He was a great basketball player," his son said. "All the accolades were great. But people respected him for his character. He was a born-again Christian. You could see his lovingness of God."
Mr. Sorenson was inducted into the Hancock County Sports Hall of Fame in 1985 and inducted into the Ohio State University Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.
A standout basketball player at Findlay High School, he was first-team All Buckeye Conference his junior and senior years. He graduated from Ohio State in 1970.
In his spare time, Mr. Sorenson enjoyed golf.
"He coached my baseball team," his son said. "But to be honest, he was a family man. He really loved his family."
Surviving are his wife, Wanda; sons, Andrew and Steve, and sister, Louise Campbell.
The family requests tributes to the Word of Life Bible Institute, Pottersville, N.Y.
Ohio Player of the Year Findlay HS
Ohio State Basketball Legend
Cleveland Cavalier 2nd round draft pick
Ohio State Hall of Famer (1967-70)
3x MVP in European Basketball Leagues
TEAM JAM Board Member
Husband, Father of Two
Presently Resides in Heaven (since July 9,2002)
Game Winning Shot vs Kentucky Article
1968 NCAA tourney OSU vs KY Boxscore
1970 NBA Draft
Ohio State Varsity "O" Hall of Fame Press Release
Akron, Ohio Obituary
1962-66 Findlay (Ohio)
1966-70 Ohio State University Frosh not allowed on varsity
PRO (Career Stats)
Boston Celtics Training Camp
Findlay High School All Time Scorer (993)
- since broken by Ben Roethlisberger
Highest Game - 44
The 6'9" center was a three year starter at Ohio State University including, as a sophomore, the team that won the Big Ten conference championship and made the Final Four of the 1968 NCAA Division I National Tournament. Dave dramatically won the Regional Final against Kentucky with a game winner over Dan Issel at the home of the Wildcats in Lexington, Kentucky.
As a junior, he was named All-Big Ten and Associated Press 3rd team All-American by leading the Buckeyes in scoring (23.6 ppg) and rebounds (10.6rpg)
He again led the team in 1969-70 as a senior, averaging 24.2 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. He was again named All-Big Ten.
Some of the centers that beat Dave out for All-American honors those two years were Naismith Basketball Hall of Famers Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), Bob Lanier, Artis Gilmore and Dan Issell. Pete Maravich was also selected for teams.
Sorenson scored 1,622 points and grabbed 761 rebounds in his career - which, at the time, was 2nd only to Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Jerry Lucas (1,990 pts and 1411 rebs). His career scoring average of 21.1 points per game ranks fifth and his career 9.9 rpg ranks sixth. These accomplishments, in addition to the Final Four appearance, were enough to earn him acceptance into the Ohio State University Varsity "O" Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.
Drafted in the 2nd round (26th overall) of the 1970 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. His rookie season of 1970-71 was his most productive. He posted career-high per-game averages of 24.6 mins, 11.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists. He scored his career single-game high of 34 points against the Buffalo Braves on Dec. 19,1970 and had 30 points on February 9, 1971 against Wilt Chamberlain and the Los Angeles Lakers. Wilt scored only 11 points in this game during a year in which he averaged almost 21 ppg and 18 rebs.
In 1971-72, Dave only played an average of 15.3 minutes per game and yet he still averaged 7.0 ppg and 4.0 rpg. His highest scoring game was 22 in the final game of the season against the Cincinnati Royals, a team coached by future Hall of Famers Bob Cousy and point guard Nate "Tiny" Archibald.
During the 1972-73 season, his third and final one in the NBA. Dave played only 10 games with the Cavaliers when he was traded November 10, 1972 to the Philadelphia 76ers. He played for Philly for 48 games. That season he averaged 13.0 minutes per game, 5.4 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. His highest scoring game came in the final game of the season against Detroit with 20 points.