The HERALD Sharon, PA Published Friday, Jan. 16, 1996

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  • Willie Somerset

    1997 Inductees WILLIE SOMERSET, like his teammate and fellow 1997 Hall inductee Brian Generalovich, was outstanding in two sports at Farrell High School.

    Somerset, a cat-like basketball guard with tremendous shooting and passing ability, helped the Steelers of Coach Eddie McCluskey to back-to-back state titles in 1959 and 1960. He was named first-team All-State in both seasons.

    In his senior season, Somerset was named the Section 3 MVP. For his career, he scored a total of 1,202 points (567 senior year, 398 junior, 237 sophomore).

    He was also a fine running back for the football team, which posted an undefeated record (8-0-2) in 1959. He led the team in scoring that year as a senior with 78 points on 13 touchdowns. He scored 42 points in his junior season.

    Willie went on to a tremendous career at Duquesne University where he was an All-American in 1965. He was the Duquesne all-time leading scorer at that time and still holds many of the school's scoring records today.

    In 1963 he was named MVP of the Pittsburgh Steel Bowl Tournament and in 1965 he was honored as the Pittsburgh Dapper Dan College Player of the Year.

    He was drafted by the Baltimore Bullets of the NBA in 1965.

    From 1967-69 he played in the American Basketball Association for the Houston Mavericks and the New York Nets. He finished in the top 10 in the league in both scoring and foul shooting and played in the second annual ABA All-Star Game.

    From 1970-73, he played with the Scranton Miners of the Eastern Basketball Association and was a member of the league's championship team in 1971 and was named the league's MVP.

    He was inducted into the Duquesne University Sports Hall of Fame in 1976. He was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Hall's Western Chapter in 1982.

    In 1968, he was named as one of the ``Outstanding Young Men of America.''

    In 1993, Inside Sports magazine named Willie as the all-time pro basketball career scoring average leader for players 6-feet and under (NBA and ABA). He averaged 21.9 points per game.


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    Updated Jan. 13, 1997
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