Ed Slomcenski was a Center for the UConn Huskies from 1961 – 1964. He’s a
member of the UConn Basketball All Century Ballot, and was a member of two
Yankee Conference Championship Teams which also went to the National
Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament. In three varsity seasons, Ed
averaged 10.5 points, and 9.4 rebounds per game. As a junior he averaged a
“double double” (13.8 ppg/10.8 rpg) while earning All-Yankee Conference
First Team honors. Ed wrote to me about his career, and reflections of his
collegiate, and post-collegiate days, both on and off the court.
Ed played high school basketball at Naugatuck High School in Connecticut.
The team’s nickname was “the Greyhounds”. He stayed with the dog theme,
and went to UConn to be a “Husky”. “As a 6’ 8” high school senior I was
heavily recruited.” Ed continued to grow, and by the end of his sophomore
year of college he was 7’0”.
Ed was interested in a career as an engineer. He narrowed his college
choices to West Point, UConn, and New York University. He decided on UConn
because his decision to go to West Point would include eight years in the
army which didn’t appeal to Ed, and the NYU campus was much smaller than
Ed’s first year at UConn he played on the freshmen basketball team. In the
1960’s a player couldn’t play on the varsity team as a freshman. UConn was
part of the Yankee Conference at that time, playing teams from Maine, New
Hampshire and Vermont. Rhode Island and UMass were Connecticut’s biggest
rivals. The team traveled by bus, and with the winters in CT, there were
many long cold trips.
A memorable game for Ed was during his senior year when UConn made the
NCAA. “We played in the old Philadelphia Palestrina. I remember being
ahead by just a point or two with just four seconds to go, and we had the
ball out of bounds. Temple was fouling whoever received the ball to stop
the clock. We threw the ball in to Bill Della Sala, and he had the
presence of mind to throw the ball straight up into the air as hard as he
could. The Palestrina was so large that it took so much time for the ball
to go up, and come down that time ran out. Temple couldn’t foul anyone
because no one had the ball.”
In the sweet sixteen, UConn met Duke University. “They had Jeff Mullens,
and two supposedly 6’ 10” players. I had the opportunity to jump ball
against both of them, and I looked up to both of them. I knew how tall I
was at the time, 7’0” so they had to be taller than 6’10”. Duke ran us out
of the gym.” After the loss UConn Head Coach Fred Shabel told his team
that Duke had two to three times the number of scholarship players, and
that his team shouldn’t feel too bad.
After graduating from UConn, Ed worked for GTE. GTE was bought out by
Verizon. Ed continued to work as a consultant for three years, and after
28 years of service; Ed is currently retired but would still welcome the
opportunity to work as a middle manager if offered.
Ed met his wife Marilyn in CT although not at UConn. They have three
children, Kim, Scott and Kerri. They all reside in the Tampa, Florida