Ronnie Hogue, Georgia's first Black scholarship hoops player, dies at 69

ATHENS, Ga. -- Ronnie Hogue, the first Black scholarship athlete on the Georgia Bulldogs men's basketball team, died Friday, the school announced. He was 69.

Hogue was a native of Washington, D.C., and lived in Maryland. No cause of death was given.

Arriving at Georgia in 1969, Hogue averaged 20.5 points as a junior and scored a career-high 46 points against LSU on Dec. 20, 1971 -- the second-highest total in school history and most by a Georgia player at Stegeman Coliseum.

In a 2011 interview, Hogue recalled the difficulties of breaking the color barrier at a Deep South school.

"The first year I played, I can remember having spit balls and hot pennies thrown at me during games, but my teammates would huddle around to cover me up," he said. "By the second year, after I proved I could play basketball, people were lining up to get my autograph."

As a senior, Hogue averaged 16.5 points and was picked as the team's top defensive player. He finished with a 17.8-point scoring average in his three years on the varsity team.

Hogue was a seventh-round pick of the Washington Bullets in the 1973 NBA draft.