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Hatton, starter on Dayton's first NIT championship team, dies at 85

Jun. 9—Tom Hatton, the fourth-leading scorer on the first Dayton Flyers team to win the NIT championship, died on Thursday at 85 at Village of the Greene in Beavercreek.

Hatton, a Waynesville High School graduate, played for Dayton from 1958-62. As a 6-foot senior guard in the 1961-62 season, he averaged 11.1 points and 6.0 rebounds. His brother Gordon, a 6-1 sophomore guard, averaged 14.0 points and 5.5 rebounds.

After five NIT runner-up finishes in the 1950s, the Flyers won the 1962 title by beating St. John's 73-67 in the final at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Bill Chmielewski was the star, scoring 24 points in the game and 104 points in four tournament games.

In the Dayton Daily News, Joe Burns called it "the greatest achievement in UD athletics history." Tom had 11 points, and Gordon had 18 in the game.

"For it was from Waynesville via AAU ball at NCR that two boys named Hatton came to enroll at UD," Burns wrote, "and without the brothers Tom and Gordie, the Flyers still might be looking tor their first NIT title."

Tom graduated from Waynesville in 1956 but didn't arrive at UD until 1958. In between, he played Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball for National Cash Register's team.

Hatton played for Dayton's freshman team in the 1958-59 season. Then in his first season on the varsity team, he averaged 8.8 points. A year later, as a junior, he averaged a career-best 12.8 points per game.

As a senior, Hatton was a co-captain along with senior forward Garry Roggenburk, who led the team with 16.0 points per game.

Hatton ranks 62nd in school history with 925 points. His brother Gordon, who died at 60 in 2001, ranks 40th with 1,097 points.

The St. Louis Hawks picked Hatton in the fifth round (39th overall) the NBA Draft in 1962, but he did not play in the NBA. He was inducted into the UD Hall of Fame in 1982.

According to his obituary, Hatton worked as a systems analyst for LexisNexis (formerly Mead) until retiring in 1992. The obituary also stated, "Tom's favorite hobbies included hunting and fishing. He especially enjoyed fishing in Minnesota and grouse hunting in Wisconsin. He looked forward each year to those trips with his good friend, Gary Van Nuys, and often started preparing for the adventures months in advance."

Hatton is survived by two daughters, Colleen Hatton and Tracey Hatton. There will be a celebration of life gathering from 4-7 p.m. June 13 at Stubbs-Conner Funeral Home in Waynesville.