Ed Slomcenski

Year: 1961 - 1964
Position: Center
Hometown: Naugatuck, CT

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 UConn.

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 area.