Former Bremerton, Oregon hoops star Denny Strickland dies at 73

Denny Strickland — basketball player, golfer, husband, father, grandfather, artist — died Monday.

He was 73.

Strickland was one of the many Bremerton basketball players who played for the legendary Ken Wills and went on to star in college.

Strickland was 1956 West Bremerton grad — that’s the year Bremerton merged into East and West Highs — and he started three years at Oregon. He also played golf for the Ducks. Some say Strickland could have pursued a career as a professional golfer.

Strickland, who was 6-foot-5, gained some notoriety in college for breaking a backboard while dunking a basketball.

After college, Strickland taught at the Seattle Art Institute and later became a successful graphic artist. He designed the iconic Seattle SuperSonics’ logo — not the original, but the one that had the Seattle skyline cut out inside a basketball. Of all the Sonics’ logos, it lasted the longest (1975-95) and remains, in my opinion, the best. He also designed the original Sounders logo and worked with Nike when it starting its original advertising campaign.

He’s survived by his wife Nancy, sons Jack and and Christopher, daughters Stacy and Shawn, brother Lance, sister Nancy, and six grandchildren. He was raised by his mom, Phyllis, and late stepfather Barney Kahn, in Bremerton. His daughter, Shawn, is married to Jack Sikma. Former East High/University of Puget Sound star Brant Gibler is Strickland’s cousin.

I’m working on a story about Strickland. Look for it later online or read it in the print edition Thursday.

Strickland’s service is 2 p.m., Saturday at Sahalee Country Club in Kirkland.

 

 

One thought on “Former Bremerton, Oregon hoops star Denny Strickland dies at 73

  1. So sad to hear Chuck and looking forward to reading your upcoming story as remember him well while I was growing up as a youngster. I did not know Denny however we lived in the house where he use to live when I was in the 6th grade and a first class basketball hoop had been left behind still attached on the garage. I spent countless hours shooting at that hoop while quite often thinking to myself at the time “I am shooting at the hoop that Denny Strickland use to shoot at”.

    He was a great player as my older half-brother, Don Atkinson, took me to many games during those years while getting the opportunity to watch many great West Bremerton Teams and players play during that era.

    My condolences to his family while Denny was not only a great player however a talented individual who left and had, even if just intuitively, a remembering effect on myself.

    Lonny Folger
    WHS Class ’64

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