Former Detroit college basketball star Duerod dies at age 64
DETROIT – Terry Duerod, a college basketball standout who played for Dick Vitale at the University of Detroit Mercy in the 1970s before winning an NBA title with the Boston Celtics, has died. The school announced Duerod's death Friday and said he'd been fighting Leukemia. Vitale said in that news release that he'd found out from Duerod's wife about his death. In 1977 — Vitale's last year coaching at the school — the Titans won an NCAA Tournament game for the first time. He played two more at Detroit after that, averaging 23.3 points a game as a senior and helping the team to another NCAA Tournament appearance.
How former Detroit Mercy coach Smokey Gains paved the way
DETROIT – The basketball world is in mourning after former University of Detroit Mercy basketball coach Smokey Gaines lost his battle with cancer. Gaines joined Vitale’s staff as an assistant and when Vitale went to the Pistons, Smokey became the University of Detroit’s first Black head coach. He also get the team to the NCAA tournament and, two years later, Gaines left to become the head coach at San Diego State University. Gaines had a long career in basketball, but he never forgot where he came from and always stayed close to the Detroit Mercy Titans program. Smokey Gaines smoked the nets and opened doors for others.