Adam Lindner | Sports Editor
At the A.J. Palumbo Center on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 5:30 p.m., Duquesne’s men’s basketball team (2-0) will take on area rival Robert Morris (0-3). Over the past seven games between the Dukes and the Colonials, Duquesne is 1-6 — something that new head coach Keith Dambrot surely can’t wait to change.
Dambrot has awoken Duquesne’s men’s program since his hire in March, when he was hired to replace Jim Ferry.
Duquesne alumni, David Finoli ’83 and Robert Healy ’06, published a book last year detailing the program’s glory days in the ’50’s, as well as its ensuing downfall. Both men graduated from the school’s journalism department, and met when Healy caught wind of a separate book that Finoli was working on years ago.
This Sunday at the Palumbo Center during Duquesne’s contest versus Robert Morris, both authors will be on hand to sign copies of their book, “Kings on the Bluff,” that’s been recently updated.
Additional copies will be available for sale at the game, and can also be purchased at either the campus bookstore or on Amazon. The book can be found by searching for “Kings on the Bluff: The Next Chapter.”
Following the coaching change made in March and the renewed interest in the program that followed, the co-authors decided to update their work that was published in 2016 to maintain the book’s relevancy.
While the old book wasn’t exactly outdated, Finoli and Healy capitalized on the program’s newfound interest and added an exciting addendum to their book, as well.
“[The original “Kings on the Bluff”] wasn’t not applicable anymore,” Healy explained. “But, Ferry gets fired and we land on Keith Dambrot, and it’s like, ‘Wow, what renewed interest in the team’. So we thought together, let’s update the book. So I changed my chapter’s ending to close out Ferry and welcome Dambrot, and then [Finoli] decided to add a whole [separate] chapter about Dambrot, so it literally includes a new chapter, and then we’ve updated the rest of the book to include Ferry’s departure.”
On top of the book’s updated material, “Kings on the Bluff: The Next Chapter” includes a new addendum.
“We decided to attract those people to buy the new book [by adding] an addendum that includes the greatest players, coaches, teams, games and performances in school history [that] we ranked ourselves,” Healy said.
Healy explained that the original work that was published last year “primarily tells the story of the 1955 national championship team, and tries to bring to light the fact that, in 1955, [the NIT] was the biggest tournament. … You know, in fact, teams, like Duquesne, actually, would frequently turn down the NCAA tournament to go to the NIT.
“The NCAA tournament, for years, didn’t allow for anyone but conference champs to go. No independent teams could go, so the NIT had established itself as the best tournament,” Healy elucidated.
“So if you won the NIT, everybody knew you were the best team in the country. … And when Duquesne won it in 1955, especially the year after they were ranked No. 1 in the country, they were definitely the best team in the country. We wanted to celebrate them as rightfully being the only Division I college team in the city of Pittsburgh to ever win a national championship on the court.”
A good portion of the book’s historical components were written by Finoli, with Healy telling the stories of more recent happenings for the program.
“My chapter in the book was ‘The Aftermath’ chapter,” Healy said. “I wrote the story of what happened to the program from 1955-on. Why [has Duquesne] not been back to a national championship level? And, why have they not been to an NCAA tournament, even, since 1977?”
Fans have the opportunity to find out at Duquesne’s Nov. 19 game versus Robert Morris, as both authors will be present with numerous paperback copies of the book for sale.