Heyward Dotson, 71, Dies; Lifted Columbia to Basketball Glory

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Heyward Dotson, who helped carry Columbia College’s basketball staff to its solely Ivy League title, in 1968, and who later attended the College of Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, died on Could 1 within the Bronx. He was 71.

His daughter, Kahlillah Dotson Mosley, stated the trigger was liver failure.

Dotson was a hard-nosed, 6-foot-Four level guard on a disciplined staff, coached by Jack Rohan, that was recognized for its full-court urgent protection. On the 1967-68 staff, Dotson averaged 13.7 factors a recreation, third to Jim McMillian, and led the Lions in assists.

“Once we went into massive video games, groups weren’t prepared for a way onerous we performed,” Dotson stated in a 2018 interview posted on the Lions’ Twitter account. He added, “They known as us the little Knickerbockers.”

After beginning the season with 4-Three report, the Lions gained 16 in a row; after dropping their last common season recreation to Princeton, they routed Princeton three days later, 92-74, to win the Ivy League championship. Dotson scored 19 whereas McMillian poured in 37. Columbia superior to the N.C.A.A. match however was eradicated within the second spherical.

Earlier than his junior season, Dotson advised Columbia Day by day Spectator, the scholar newspaper, that he was an “unstoppable” level guard who might diagnose on-court conditions in addition to anybody. He averaged barely greater than 18 factors a recreation within the 1968-69 and 1969-70 seasons.

After graduating in 1970, he went on to check European historical past at Worcester School, Oxford, on the Rhodes Scholarship, the trail taken in 1965 by Invoice Bradley, a Princeton star who studied at Worcester for 2 years earlier than enjoying for the Knicks.

Dotson performed professionally in Europe for a time however didn’t succeed within the N.B.A. After being drafted in 1970 by the Phoenix Suns, he was traded to the Knicks, who quickly lower him, as did the Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Affiliation. (McMillian had a productive N.B.A. profession with 4 groups, primarily the Los Angeles Lakers and the Buffalo Braves.)

Heyward Harrell Dotson was born on July 12, 1948 in Lugoff, S.C., and raised on Staten Island by his mother and father, David and Ruth (Harrell) Dotson. He performed middle at Stuyvesant Excessive College in Manhattan, one of many metropolis’s elite public colleges, earlier than attending Columbia on a scholarship. He was inducted into the college’s athletics corridor of fame in 2018.

“Basketball was a way to get him off Staten Island, however he all the time considered himself as a scholar,” Ms. Mosley stated.

After an N.B.A. profession didn’t materialize, Mr. Dotson graduated from Columbia Regulation College, labored on the Shea & Gould legislation agency and held authorities positions, together with one with the New York State assemblyman Keith Wright and one other with the New York Metropolis Comptroller’s Workplace.

“He ran my workplace” within the 1990s, Mr. Wright stated by telephone. “You identify it, he did it: constituent companies, coverage, writing speeches.”

Mr. Dotson ran for the New York Metropolis Council in 2001, ending final within the primaries. Lately he held numerous jobs, together with substitute trainer in Harlem, the place he lived, Ms. Mosley stated. He died at Calvary Hospital.

Along with his daughter, Mr. Dotson is survived by his mom; two sisters, Dorothy Benson and Eva Cooper; two brothers, David and Donald; and three grandchildren. His spouse, Mildred (Singleton) Dotson, died in 1998.

Jonathan Schiller, a former teammate who co-founded the Boies Schiller Flexner worldwide legislation agency, recalled Mr. Dotson as a decided participant who “all the time rose to the event and performed his greatest towards the very best groups.”

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