UConn Legends - The Silky Smooth Tony Hanson

In the early 70's, Tony Hanson was starting to develop into quite a basketball player. As far as development in High School at Holy Cross, he'd always been a decent player starting in grammar school. But by the time he was a Sophomore, his confidence soared....And after setting numerous records at the NVL School, colleges were ready to recruit this young man. Over 100 schools came a calling, but staying home was important. And Tony Hanson liked what he saw with Coach Dee Rowe and UConn. A man with great character who could help take Hanson to another level on and off the court. Mission accomplished...

The Huskies went 19-8 in his freshman year, averaging 10p and 5 reb per game off the bench as the Huskies went to the second round of the NIT, losing to Boston College 76-75 after beating St John's....Another winning season of 18-10 in his Sophomore season of 1974-75, Hanson averaged 17p-6 and 6 boards per game that helped the Huskies play in the ECAC Tournament, losing to BC and Providence before a second straight visit to the NIT where the Huskies fell to South Carolina.

The 1975-76 campaign was another rock solid year for the Huskies. 19-10 in a season where UConn won five straight, including the ECAC Tournament with wins over UMass and Providence to vault into the NCAA's for the first time since 1967. Hanson teammates included Guard Joey Whelton, plus forwards Jeff Carr and Al Weston. They faced Hofstra in Providence and dug themselves a huge hole as Hanson picked up three fouls in the first 5:30 of the game and trailed 43-27 at the half. Seven minutes left to play down 13, the Huskies roar back with a game ending 18-5 run, led by Jeff Carr to force OT where the Huskies prevailed 80-78. Hanson bounced back in the Sweet 16 with a game high 23, but thrird ranked and Undefeated Rutgers proved to be too good, winning in Greensboro, NC 93-79.

While statistically, the 1976-77 season for Tony Hanson was amazing (702pts - 26ppg, 7 30+pt games and a 42 point effort where he scored a school record 32 in the first half in a loss at Vermont) , but a disappointing season ended at 17-10 with a third place finish in the ECAC New England Regionals, where Hanson finished his tremendous career with a 36 point effort at the Hartford Civic Center in a win over Fairfield. Sadly, not even an NIT bid was in the works. Where Hanson 26.5ppg and 10.5 rpg in his final year.

For Tony Hanson, he finished his UConn Career as the programs all time leading scorer with 1,990 points. Still third on the all time list at UConn behind Chris Smith and Richard Hamilton. His 26ppg in 1977 is still #2 for a season. He was drafted by the New Orleans Jazz of the NBA, but after playing in the preseason, didn't make the cut. So he went to Europe with two seasons in Italy and one in France where he tore an ACL and was done for two years...After taking a few coaching jobs at Prince Tech in Hartford and Northwest Catholic, he was back in England as a player/coach thanks to teammate Joey Whelton. His Tees Valley Mohawks Club Team won 5 straight National Championships over his time where one of his players included former Husky E.J. Harrison.

Splitting his time between England and the states, he and his wife Sandy had five kids. On November 25th, 2018 at the way too young age of 65, Tony Hanson passed away suddenly, it's thought a heart attack took his life. Hanson is a member of the All Time Team and Huskies of Honor. The silky smooth Tony Hanson, a Waterbury and UConn Legend

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