Gerald Duncan grew up in South-Central during the 1970s.
Around eighth grade, basketball grew past these other sports. Duncan played against his older brother and other bigger, stronger players who didn’t give him an inch. Eventually, basketball and accounting led to Cal State San Bernardino.
Duncan’s four-year Coyote basketball career is splashed across the all-time Coyote basketball records. He has the most field-goal attempts of any Coyote and the most points. In reality, it’s not close. He has 1694 career points. Second place has 1399.
Duncan, however, is not in the Coyote Athletics Hall of Fame.
“I feel like sports-wise, I deserve it,” Duncan said. “I really want to get back involved with the school and it’s leaving me with an empty hole. They’re not recognizing the accomplishments that I had.”
Coyote basketball was in a different place 34 years ago when Duncan decided to attend. It was a Division III school with fewer intercollegiate sports. Jim Ducey coached a basketball team that was in its second year of existence and had a hard time scheduling practice time at the gym. Intramural sports often got in the way. Still, there were benefits of the earlier time. Ducey once held a practice at the Los Angeles Forum where the Showtime Lakers played at the time. Ducey was friends with the Lakers coach Pat Riley and was able to introduce the team.
Duncan, nicknamed “Hines” in the Coyote Chronicle at the time, led the team for his first couple years but considered transferring before his junior year.
“Pepperdine wanted me to transfer, to play my junior and senior year, but when I found out Mark was coming, I was like ‘Oh no. We got a big man,'” said Duncan.
This big man was Mark Warren, perhaps the most decorated Coyote basketball alum and Duncan’s compliment. Warren attended Cal State San Bernardino for two years. These years were the top two point-scoring seasons in Coyote basketball history. Perhaps more impressive,He still holds the career record for rebounds having played just two seasons. He was inducted in the inaugural Athletics Hall of Fame class of 2009. With the two of them on the floor, the Coyotes were very good.
“Mark was obviously a kingpin on the inside and Gerald was our go-to go on the outside so we had good balance,” Ducey said. “We had good pieces all around.”
The Coyotes finished Warren’s seasons with records of 21-4 and 20-6. Duncan had fun one particular game visiting Cal State Stanislaus.
“I was a junior and I took it all the way down court,” Duncan said. “I made a half-court shot at the buzzer. It went in. I felt it was going in. We were down. It was a three-point shot; it was a game-winning shot.”
There weren’t fans there to cheer him on, but this made it even better.
“It was on the road. I loved to play at home, but I really love to play on the road, because you get to silence the whole crowd,” Duncan said.
After Cal State San Bernardino, Duncan took a break from basketball just long enough to found an LA real estate company. With that running smoothly, he played professionally in the Philippines, Belgium, Brazil, and the CBA, a subsidiary of the NBA. Eventually, his career took him to the Miami Heat where he decided to work as a sports agent. He found himself working again with Pat Riley who he met years earlier. Duncan then added general contracting to the real estate business. At this point, he had done business with NBA players Magic Johnson and Dominique Wilkins. It has been a busy 30 years since graduation from Cal State San Bernardino.
What does this Hall of Fame process take? And what does it mean?
“The Hall of Fame is a connection to the University,” Cal State’s Assistant Athletics Director Brian Gaul said. “It’s something that we can point out as a point of pride that we can take in these people and the contributions that they have made.”
The first class was inducted in 2009. Every two years since, there has been a class inducted until this year. The Athletics Department decided to move to every three years, planning on inducting a new class next year. When that time comes, a special Hall of Fame committee will be formed, receive nominations, and vote on new inclusions. Voting has to be unanimous.
For now, there is no physical Hall of Fame.
“Other than being displayed on the website, it’s not displayed publicly anywhere, but it will be at a future date,” Gaul said.
The Coussoulis Arena is being renovated and there are plans about adding a Hall of Fame.
As for whether that physical spot will eventually include Gerald Duncan’s name?
“Absolutely, he will be considered,” Gaul said.
As for Duncan himself, a law degree is next on the list.
“I left it all out there on the court. My blood, sweat, and tears for that school” Duncan said. “I left everything on the court so I can regret nothing.”