Men’s basketball coach returns to his father’s alma mater

Image Courtesy of Summa Health | Sidney Dambrot, right, played on the Duquesne team that went to the final game of the 1954 NIT championship. He was accompanied by three All-American basketball players during his time at Duquesne.

Hallie Lauer | Layout Editor

11/09/2017

Although the Duquesne men’s basketball team will have to get used to a new head coach this season, Dambrot is not an unfamiliar name on the Bluff.

From 1950 until 1954, new head coach Keith Dambrot’s father was a member of the Duquesne basketball team.

Sidney – better known as Sid – played as both a guard and a forward. During his time at Duquesne, the basketball team enjoyed some of its finest years.

In 1954, they were the No. 1 team in the country for two weeks and finished as runners-up in the prominent National Invitational Tournament, or NIT.

Sid Dambrot, who grew up in Akron, Ohio, and pulled for both Akron’s and Duquesne’s basketball teams, said that other than Akron, Duquesne was his next favorite team.

“I went to a lot of games as a kid,” Keith Dambrot said. “[I] saw the scrapbooks his mom had made [of him.]”

Keith Dambrot expressed the uniqueness of coming back to coach at the school where his father once played.

“He’s a funny guy. Told me you gotta do what’s best for you and your family. I think deep down it’s kinda fun for him,” Keith Dambrot said. “I’ll have these old guys come up and say, ‘Hey, I used to rebound for your dad.’”

During Sid’s freshman year, the team ranked as high as No. 4 (AP) in the nation. He played on three Top 10 teams throughout the course of his four-year career.

A solid shooter, an article from The Duke from Nov. 6, 1953, stated, “[Sid] Dambrot was reported to be the best set shot in Metropolitan New York.”

Sid, according to Coach Dambrot, grew up in the Bronx.

Dambrot said that his father having old ties at Duquesne contributed, in a way, to why he decided to take the coaching job, despite the fact that many previous coaches had been fired.

“I can’t pinpoint why I came,” Keith Dambrot said. “I think it was a cumulative effect. My dad playing here had something to do with it, my competitiveness, my age and a little bit of frustration, but I can’t really pinpoint it.”

Keith Dambrot’s frustration may have partially stemmed from regular-season success that he grew accustomed to enjoying at Akron that sometimes didn’t necessarily translate to postseason success.

Despite recording a 145-77 over the course of the past six seasons at Akron, the Zips only reached the NCAA tournament once.

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