Edward Leede, Dartmouth Basketball’s First 1,000-Point Scorer and Namesake for Current Arena, Dies at 90

  • Edward Leede, the first 1,000-point scorer in Dartmouth men’s basketball history, died on Sunday at age 90.

Published: 2/27/2018 4:05:42 PM
Modified: 2/27/2018 11:52:29 PM

Hanover — The first 1,000-point scorer in Dartmouth College men’s basketball history and the namesake for the school’s hoops programs’ arena has died.

Edward Horst Leede died on Saturday in Denver, surrounded by his family. Leede was 90.

Leede earned a chemistry degree from Dartmouth in 1949 and spent his four years in Hanover as a major part of the men’s basketball program. He maintained an attachment to his alma mater in multiple capacities, which Dartmouth honored by naming Leede Arena after him when it opened in 1987.

“The Dartmouth community is very saddened by the news of Ed Leede’s passing,” Dartmouth athletic director Harry Sheehy said in a statement on Tuesday. “He was a great athlete and competitor but, more importantly, an even better man, having served the College for many years while touching the lives of countless people with his generosity. He will forever be known as a Legend of Ivy League Basketball with a legacy of philanthropy that will endure. We send along our deepest condolences to Margaret Anne and their family as we all mourn and celebrate the life of one of Dartmouth’s favorite sons.”

Born on July 17, 1927, the 6-foot-3 Leede attended high school in the New York City borough of Queens before entering Dartmouth in 1944. Leede led the squad in scoring with 16.5 points per game, playing all 14 games for coach Osborne Cowles.

Leede returned to Dartmouth in 1946 after a year away with the United States Marines Corps and resumed his scoring pace, topping the stat sheet at 14.83 ppg for first-year coach Elmer Lampe. Dartmouth gradually improved over Leede’s final two seasons, going 12-12 and 15-11 as the forward continued to put up strong numbers (13.71 ppg in 1947-48, 15.96 ppg in 1948-49).

Leede cracked the career 1,000-point plateau in a 73-54 loss at Temple on Dec. 27, 1947, and he continued on to finish with 1,331 points for his career, serving as a captain in his final season. A four-time all-Eastern Intercollegiate Basketball League selection, Leede’s career tally stood atop the Dartmouth list for more than 20 years before being surpassed by Paul Earland in the early 1970s. Leede remains ninth on Dartmouth’s all-time scoring list.

Leede’s Dartmouth exploits attracted professional interest, and he was a third-round draft pick of the Providence Steamrollers of the Basketball Association of America in 1949.

He instead suited up for another franchise in the nascent National Basketball Association, the Boston Celtics, for whom he suited up 121 times over two seasons, averaging 7.8 ppg.

Leede used the money earned in professional basketball to enter Harvard’s Graduate School of Business Administration, achieving his MBA in 1953 and spending a lengthy business career in oil, gas, real estate and other ventures.

Leede’s family moved from Texas to Denver in 1988, a year after his alma mater opened its new athletic complex on the grounds that once housed Davis Rink. A past four-term member of the Dartmouth College Athletic Council, Leede was among the 16-person inaugural class to be inducted into the Legends of Ivy League Basketball last year.

Leede is survived by his wife of 62 years, Margaret, along with five children and 10 grandchildren.

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