Don McConnell was the leading scorer on the 1962-63 and 1963-64 basketball teams for Napa High when the Indians were a part of the very competitive North Bay League.
As a senior, McConnell led Napa to the North Bay League title and was selected to the All-NBL team. Napa posted an impressive 23-5 overall record, was 9-1 in the league play, and earned an invitation to the Tournament of Champions (TOC), played at the University of California’s Harmon Gym in Berkeley.
Lead by McConnell, the 1963-1964 team earned the first league title since 1952.
Upon graduation McConnell went on to play basketball as a forward on a scholarship at San Jose State from 1964-68. He was a starter and co-captain, and won the Coach’s Award for his efforts in his senior year.
Stan Morrison, who enjoyed coaching stints at University of the Pacific, University of Southern California, and San Jose State University said, “Don McConnell was superior athlete. He was unselfish to a fault. He was an exceptional teammate on and off the court, and he was always encouraging others and sacrificing when appropriate.”
Morrison also wrote: “Don was very quick, fast, tough, an excellent jumper, determined defender and a fierce competitor. His aggressiveness and his capacity to contribute in virtually every department of the game were his strengths.”
McConnell played for the U.S. Navy Sub-Pacific basketball team from 1969-1971 and was selected for the All-Navy team for both seasons.