Monroe Nash, Sixth Man On USC's 1971 Team, Dies
March 30, 2011
Monroe Nash, the sixth man on the 1971 USC men's basketball team that is regarded as one of the best squads in Trojan history, died on Monday (March 28) of a heart attack in San Diego. He was 61.
Nash won USC's Most Improved Player Award as a junior forward in 1971 when he came off the bench to average 5.5 points on a team that went 24-2, the school's best-ever record to that point. The 1971 Trojans captured their first 16 games (a then school-record winning streak), were ranked No. 1 by mid-season and finished fifth in the national polls, but did not play in the NCAA tournament because only league champions advanced in that era. USC's only losses that season were to eventual Pacific-8 and NCAA champion UCLA.
Nash was expected to start as a senior in 1972 but he was sidelined after having 2 surgeries following the 1971 campaign for a ruptured disc in his back. He returned in 1973, but appeared in only 4 early-season games (he averaged 10.0 points and 5.0 rebounds).
He was a reserve as a 1970 sophomore, appearing in 14 games and averaging 1.4 points. He averaged 14.6 points on the Trojans' 1969 freshman team that went undefeated.
He was a prep All-American and the CIF San Diego Section Player of the Year at Morse High in San Diego (Calif.).
After USC, he became involved in San Diego community activities. He also served on the board of the Trojan Club of San Diego.
He is survived by his mother, Bennie, and brothers Walter and Bill.
A memorial service will be held at noon on April 7 at Mt. Erie Baptist Church (511 So. 47th St., San Diego 92113). In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Mt. Erie Christian Academy (530 So. 47th St., San Diego 92113).