Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Don Lofgran

Donald James Lofgran

November 8, 1929
Oakland, CA

found dead June 17, 1976
Salt Lake City, UT

1944-45 Oakland Technical High School - California (High School)
1945-46 Oakland Technical High School - California (High School)
1946-47 Grant Tech - California (College)
1947-48 Grant Tech - California (College)
1948-49 University of San Francisco (College)
1949-50 University of San Francisco (College)
1950-51 Syracuse Nationals (NBA)
1950-51 Indianapolis Olympians (NBA)
1950-51 Utica Pros (ABL)
1951-52 Indianapolis Olympians (NBA)
1952-53 Philadelphia Warriors (NBA)
1953-54 Milwaukee Hawks (NBA)
1955-56 Presidio Army (Independent)
1955-56 New York Olympians (Independent)

Lofgran set the single-season scoring record at USF, and was named All-American. He was drafted by the Syracuse Nationals in 1950 but was sold to Indianapolis in February. In 1952 he was traded to Philadelphia for Mel Payton. After the 1952-53 season, Lofgran disappeared. His wife reported him missing after he left to cash a check and trade in his car for a newer model. Initially it was thought that he met with foul play after his new car was found in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, but a few days later, he was spotted around the Bay Area in California. He was later admitted to a psychiatric in Wyoming, determined to have suffered a nervous breakdown. He recovered well enough to return to the NBA that fall, but with the Milwaukee Hawks. He was arrested that December and charged with grand theft and forgery in Oakland. He had taken his sister's car and sold it without her permission, forging the pink slip. In March of 1954, he was arrested in Oakland for passing bad checks. His NBA days were over, but he did pick up some basketball by playing for some independent and semi-pro teams.
Lofgran continued on his downward slide for many years, and bounced from job to job. A heavy drinker, he was found dead in a cheap hotel in Salt Lake City on June 17, 1976. Severe alcoholism and alcohol poisoning caused his liver to fail.

He was married to Joan Stapleton and they had three children.

Fresno Bee Republican, May 8, 1953
Oakland Tribune, March 22, 1954
Oakland Tribune, November 9, 1955
Santa Cruz Sentinel, December 12, 1956
Brownsville Herald, June 18, 1976


1 comment:

  1. Lofgran retired in January, 1954 after "wrenching his back" and was arrested for passing $700 in bad checks shortly thereafter. His arrest for theft and forgery came in December 1956 -