Former Bearcats All-American Connie Dierking Dies

Dec. 30, 2013

CINCINNATI – Former University of Cincinnati men’s basketball All-American and 10-year NBA veteran Connie Dierking died Sunday at the age of 77.

Dierking averaged 12.7 points and 13.5 rebounds helping the Bearcats to a 57-19 combined record during his three-year UC career (1956-58).

He was a co-captain on the 1957-58 squad that made the school’s first NCAA tournament appearance. The center from Brooklyn, N.Y., averaged a double-double with 15.8 points and 14.9 rebounds during the 1957-58 campaign and, along with Oscar Robertson, helped guide the Bearcats to a 25-3 overall record and UC’s first Missouri Valley Conference championship. For his efforts, Dierking was named a second-team All-American by the Newspaper Enterprise Association and was a first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference selection.

As a junior, Dierking led the Bearcats in scoring (18.5 points) and rebounding (18.8) while directing UC to the National Invitation Tournament and 15-9 overall record. He ranked 14th in the nation in rebounding as a junior. Dierking still ranks first at UC for most rebounds in a game, grabbing 33 against Loyola (La.) on Feb. 16, 1957.

“Connie Dierking was one of the pioneers that helped build the winning tradition of Cincinnati basketball,” UC head coach Mick Cronin said. “We want to extend our condolences to the Dierking family at this time.”  

The Syracuse Nationals selected Dierking as the fifth pick overall in the first round of the 1958 NBA Draft. He played 10 seasons overall in the NBA, averaging 10.0 points and 6.7 rebounds. He played two seasons with the Nationals (1959-60) who became the Philadelphia 76ers (1964-65, 1971). He also played with the San Francisco Warriors (1965) and Cincinnati Royals (1966-70). He averaged 13.3 points and 8.0 rebounds in five seasons with the Royals.  

Dierking was inducted into the James P. Kelly UC Athletics Hall of Fame in 1986.