LIVINGSTON, NJ — In honor of legendary Livingston High School (LHS) basketball alumnus and distinguished college basketball coach Bob “Whitey” Dukiet, who is considered the most heralded basketball player to ever come through LHS, the school is hosting a Whitey Dukiet All-American Holiday Classic this week.
Dukiet, a Parade All-American player, played on some of the finest boys basketball teams in LHS history in the mid 60’s under the direction of Coach Jack Waddon. He played among other known alumni like Cece, Bresin, Schultz, Bosworth, Nisenson, Hill, Higgins and Krantz.
During his four-year career at LHS, Dukiet blazed through both the scorebooks and opponents and was often compared to New York Knick legend Bill Bradley. According to LHS, he was a double-figure scorer for all four years and today remains the leading scorer in boys basketball history at Livingston.
As a senior, Dukiet averaged 34 points per game while topping 40 points several times, and hit the historic 50 points in a single game against Morris Hills in January 1966. These scoring accomplishments took place decades before the three-point shot was instituted in high school basketball.
Also during his senior season, Dukiet attracted the attention of NBA Hall of Famer and Celtic great Bob Cousy, who came to LHS to recruit him to play at Boston College.
"I still remember him as a player,” said Cousy. “He was the complete package—a guard who could do everything."
Following his senior year at Boston College, Dukiet was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 11th round of the NBA draft.
Upon completing his playing career, Dukiet spent time as a college assistant at Dartmouth, Montclair State and Princeton. In 1979, he landed his first head-coaching job at Division I St. Peter’s College, where he led the program to new heights and gained national attention by knocking off nationally ranked Michigan St. in 1983 and defeating local Big East opponents Seton Hall and UConn.
In his seven seasons at St. Peters, Dukiet produced four 20-win seasons. With a reputation as a “players’ coach,” it was not long before larger schools came calling.
In 1986, he was hired as the head coach at Marquette University, where he spent a few years before finishing his coaching career with much success at Gannon University.
The remaining Whitey Dukiet All-American Holiday Classic schedule for Dec. 29 is as follows:
1 p.m. Girls Consolation Game
3 p.m. Boys Consolation Game
5 p.m. Girls Championship Game
7 p.m. Boys Championship Games