Cal Great Ansley Truitt Passes Away
Ansley Truitt, a prolific scorer and rebounder for the Cal men's basketball team in the early 1970s and the Golden Bear team MVP as a senior in 1972, passed away on Feb. 13 due to complications from COVID-19. He was 70.
A 6-9 center who earned prep All-American honors at Woodrow Wilson High School in San Francisco, Truitt started for three years on some of the highest scoring teams in Cal history under head coach Jim Padgett. He earned first-team All-Pac-8 honors and served as a team captain as a senior in 1971-72 when he averaged a team-leading 18.8 ppg and 13.2 rpg.
Truitt still holds several school records, including most total rebounds in a season with 382 in 1971-72. His 13.2 rpg that year rank No. 2 in school history, as do his 940 career rebounds and five career 20-rebound games.
Truitt scored 1,384 points during his three seasons in a Golden Bear uniform, which still ranks 16th in school history (3rd at the time). He posted a pair of 30-point games, with 35 vs. New Mexico State and 34 at Stanford, both in 1972. For his career, Truitt averaged 17.3 ppg and 11.8 rpg.
After his graduation, Truitt played with the Dallas Chaparrals of the ABA during the 1972-73 season. The following year, he signed a contract to play in France, which began a 16-year overseas career. Over time, he became fluent in French, which he used to impress his Cal friends back in the States.
Once his playing days ended, Truitt spent 30 years with the U.S. Postal Service and developed an affinity for coins and watches with an extensive collection of both. He also became a skilled orator and eventually wrote several books of poetry. Truitt attended theological school and became an ordained minister. He loved jazz and dreamed of one day playing the saxophone.
Former Cal classmates and student-athletes Cliff West (track & field) and Floyd Jackson (basketball) noted that "Truitt was a man of God, a wordsmith, a devoted family man, a loyal and treasured friend. He relished life and was grateful for every moment he was granted to be alive. Ansley enriched the lives of those who knew and loved him. He will be missed but his legacy of love will live on through his family and his friends. See you someday soon my true and faithful friend!"
Ansley Hoover Truitt is survived by his wife of 47 years, Mary Truitt, and their three daughters, Najah, Nikita and Alanna. He also leaves behind four granddaughters. His sister, Arintha, and brother, Kato, still reside in the Bay Area, and he has six brothers who live on the East Coast. Truitt was preceded in death by Lera Shealey (mother) and Ansley Truitt Sr. (father).