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Bernie Janicki

Basketball ∙ Ambridge

 

 

 

 

Today a 6'-4" basketball player is considered small, but when Bernie Janicki played his college basketball at Duke University from 1950 to 1954 he set school records in rebounding. His individual school records included most career rebounds (1098), most rebounds in a season (436 in 30 games), and most rebounds in a single game (31 against North Carolina in 1952). He received honorable mention on the 1954 Converse All American team and was named Duke’s MVP that year. Bernie’s collegiate success came as no surprise to fans who had seen him play at Ambridge High School from 1947 to 1950, where he was the top scorer in Section 3 of the WPIAL and made the section's All Star team. In addition to his rebounding skill, he also showed scoring talent topped by a high single game total of 32 points against New Castle in 1949. After graduating from college, Bernie played for the strong Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company team in the National Industrial Basketball League in 1954 and 1955. Then he served in the US Air Force for twenty years, retiring in 1975 with the rank of lieutenant colonel. His service included action in Vietnam as a pilot in 1966 and 1967. Bernie played service basketball for the Air Force from 1955 to 1960 and coached teams at Forbes Air Force Base in Kansas and Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois, compiling strong winning records. After his retirement, he was assistant basketball coach at Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento, California, in 1977 and 1978. After that he served as assistant manager of the golf course at Mather Air Force Base in California.