1977 NCAA men’s basketball champion Bernard Toone dies at 65


Bernard Toone was earned fourth team All-American honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches during the 1978-79 season. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Bernard Toone, a member of Marquette men’s basketball’s 1977 National Championship team, died over the 4th of July holiday weekend  from a battle with cancer.

The school announced Toone’s death Monday.

“We are saddened to announce that National Champion and All-American, Bernard Toone, lost his battle with cancer over the holiday weekend. His family and friends are in our thoughts,” the program said on Twitter.

The 6-foot-9 Toone served as a reserve for head coach Al McGuire from 1975-1977. During Marquette’s title run in 1977, Toone scored 18 points off the bench helping the then-Warriors come from behind to defeat Wake Forest in the Midwest Regional Final.

Two years later during his senior season, Toone became a starter for head coach Hank Raymonds.

In his final season at Marquette, Toone helped lead the 1978-79 team to a 22-7 overall record and a Top 10 ranking finish in the Associated Press Poll. That season he earned fourth team All-American honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches, averaging a team-high 18.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.

When he concluded his collegiate career, Toone averaged 9.3 points and 4.1 assists across 118 career games.

Toone was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1979 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. His NBA career would be short lived as he lasted in Philadelphia for just a season before continuing his career overseas.

This article was written by John Leuzzi. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @JohnLeuzziMU.