Don Burness

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Don Burness
Personal information
Born June 1, 1919
San Francisco, California
Died March 3, 1987(1987-03-03) (aged 67)
Yountville, California
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Career information
High school Lowell (San Francisco, California)
College Stanford (1940–1942)
Position Forward / Center
Number 8
Career highlights and awards

Donald S. Burness (June 1, 1919–March 3, 1987) was an All-American basketball player at Stanford University.

College career

Burness, who was 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m), played center in high school at Lowell High School in San Francisco.[1] He switched to playing forward when he was recruited to Stanford along with his Lowell teammate, 6-foot-3-inch (1.91 m) Bill Cowden. The team's average height of 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m), tall for the time, earned them the nickname "The Tall Redwoods."[2]

In his senior year of 1942, Burness helped Stanford to a 28–4 record, and he was named a second-team All-American for the season.[3] In the postseason, the Indians beat Oregon State to advance to the western regional of 1942 NCAA men's basketball championship.[3] During the Oregon State series, Burness injured his ankle and did not play in the regional semifinals and finals, but Stanford advanced to the final without him. In the final game, Burness started the game, but could not continue due to his ankle injury.[3][4] Jim Pollard, another key starter for the Indians, was also sidelined due to the flu. Despite missing two key starters, Stanford prevailed over Dartmouth, 53–38, to win its only NCAA men's basketball title to date.[3][4]

After college

Following his college career, Burness played for the Oakland Bittners of the Amateur Athletic Union.[5] He was named to the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame in 1960.[6]


  1. ^ Chapin, Dwight (March 25, 1998). "'42 champs pull for repeat in '98". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved September 2, 2010.
  2. ^ Clifford, James O. (March 26, 1998). "'Redwoods' were mark of last Cardinal finalist". Herald-Journal. Retrieved September 2, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d Migdol, Gary (1997). Stanford: Home of Champions. Sports Publishing LLC. p. 102. ISBN 1-57167-116-1. Retrieved September 2, 2010.
  4. ^ a b "1942 NCAA Tournament Box Score". Retrieved September 2, 2010. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Grundman, Adolph H. (2004). The golden age of amateur basketball: the AAU Tournament, 1921-1968. University of Nebraska. p. 101. ISBN 0-8032-7117-4.
  6. ^ "Ex-Yankee Honored". St. Petersburg Times. December 29, 1960. Archived from the original on January 24, 2013. Retrieved September 2, 2010.
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