FORMER BULLDOG BASKETBALL STANDOUT METSO PASSES AWAY AT AGE 54
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Ron Metso, who enjoyed a stellar four-year basketball career at the University of Minnesota Duluth during the late 1970s, died Sunday (July 22) in Robbinsdale, Minn. He was 54.
A native of Barnum, Minn., Metso started three years at center for the Bulldogs and, as a senior in 1979-80 ranked second on the club in scoring (a career-high 15.8 points per game), rebounding (9.8 rpg) and minutes played (35.7 per night) while connecting on a team-leading 51.0 percent of his shots from the floor. That same year he also set what was then a school-record for field goals made (16) and attempted (25) in a 78-59 win over Lakehead University. Metso exited the UMD program holding down the No. 25 spot on the school's all-time scoring charts with 966 points in 87 outings (an 11.1 points per game average).
After playing professionally for one year in Luxembourg, Metso returned to UMD in 1981-82 to serve as a Bulldog student assistant coach and complete his B.A. degree in physical education. In May 1983, he began working as an agent at American Family Insurance and later operated the Ron Metso Agency in Maple Grove. Minn. Metso was injured in a diving accident in July 1990 which resulted in paralysis and permanently being confined to a wheelchair.
"The two things that stood out most for me about Ron were his loyalty and his optimism," said Butch Kuronen, who both played and coached with Metso at UMD. "For someone who faced the challenges he did for the last 22 years, he had an absolutely remarkable attitude -- always positive, always looking forward. I don't think there was a negative bone in his body."
A Memorial Visitation for Metso will be from 10 a.m. to the 11 a.m. Memorial Mass on Saturday (July 28) at Holy Angels Catholic Church in Moose Lake, Minn.
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