DePaul Blue Demons basketball alum Fred Knez (LAS ’38) was hailed in 1936 for, “displaying the classiest of hook shots.” Today at age 97 he holds the distinction of being the oldest living Blue Demon basketball player on record.
Knez, who was known as one of the famous five frosh of ’33, played with a litany of DePaul Hall of Famers — Ray Adams, Bob Neu, Ed Campion, Nick Yost and Clem Naughton (grandfather of current Blue Demon women’s basketball player Deidre Naughton).
When back-to-back Big Ten losses could have shaken the Blue Demons, “Freddie” came to the rescue for DePaul. Playing a Wisconsin ballclub that was considered the best of the Big Ten, Knez was the hero according to The DePaulia: “The game was another of those last-minute thrillers, Freddie Knez putting through the clinching points in the final seconds with shots that brought the fans to their feet.”
Fred’s wife, Margaret (LAS ’39), also graduated from DePaul. The two met when Fred had to share her book in German class. As Margaret tells it: “Fred came to DePaul with really not much money, so he didn’t have a book… . He looked on mine. He was quite a gentleman. Even on later dates, despite not having much money, he always brought me a corsage.” The couple moved to Arizona in 1979.
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