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Hall of Fame 13: Skip Thoren


Ita was a different era. Duane Thoren, Skip for everybody, arrived in Milano in the summer of 1965, he won the Italian league and the Champions’ Cup, he was the Simmenthal’s American player in an era only was allowed and then another was signed only for the international competition. Alongside Thoren, there was Bill Bradley. The latter brought Princeton to the NCAA Final Four, he was famous, a recognizable name and had been drafted by the New York Knicks. But Skip Thoren was another star. At Illinois, at the end of the 1964-65 season, he had 22.2 points per game to go along 14.5 rebounds. In the final against UCLA, he had 24 points and 24 rebounds but he fouled out and his team lost. Thoren stayed one year in Milano, then he moved to the professional ranks, playing three seasons in the ABA. In the second year he averaged 16.7 points per game and he also was selected for the 1969 All-Star Game. When Simmenthal signed him he had been drafted by the NBA in the fourth round but his selection number was 30. Today he’d have been a first-round pick. In the Bologna’s final, against Slavia Pargue, he scored 21 points. Thoren was a 2.05 center, a great rebounder, not very physical but extremely capable to use the hook shot and during the 1966 Champions’ Cup the chemistry with a point-forward like Bradley was absolutely terrific.