Cougar Great Vince Hanson Passes Away

Sept. 2, 2009

PULLMAN, Wash. - Vince Hanson, a three-sport student-athlete who starred on the Washington State men's basketball team from 1942-48, passed away Sunday, Aug. 30 at the age of 85.

Hanson gained national prominence as a sophomore for Washington State Cougar basketball team in the 1944-45 season, setting a national scoring record with 592 points. The scoring output remains a WSU sophomore record and is third on the Cougar single-season list.

He was accorded Helms' Foundation All-America recognition and earned All-PCC honor in 1945. His best game came during the 1945 season when he recorded 34 points against Washington (Feb. 10), setting a WSU record that tied the Northern Division's one-game mark, en route to the Cougars' PCC title. During his career he set WSU single season records for points and field goals (242) and career marks for field goals (460), points (1,153) and scoring average (11.9). He currently ranks 18th on the WSU career scoring list.

Hanson's collegiate career also included two varsity letters in baseball as a first baseman and two in track, where he was a high jumper. Hanson coached at North Kitsap High in the Seattle area for a year after graduating from Washington State in 1948, and then played with the Goodyear Wingfoots out of Akron, Ohio, in the old AAU league.

Born in Austin, Minn., Hanson attended Lincoln High School in Tacoma, Wash. A 1948 draft pick by the National Basketball Association's Baltimore Bullets, he was inducted into the WSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1986 and into the Pacific-10 Conference Hall of Honor in 2007. He is also a member of the Tacoma-Pierce County and State of Washington Sports Hall of Fames. Hanson is survived by his wife of 62 years, Virginia.

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