Although Doug honed his hoops skills as a Falcon for only one year, his impact resonated throughout the ’56-’57 season. An all-state selection, the 6;9” forward helped steer Coach Toni Kuolt’s cagers to an 18-1 record. Kistler led the Falcons in scoring with 24 points per game. The Old Gold and Blue captured its first New Jersey Private School Group IV championship defeating St. Benedicts 44-35. Peddie inducted the 1957 Basketball Team into the Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.
The “tall and lanky” Kistler arrived in Hightstown from Radnor High School in Pennsylvania, and early in the season the Falcon forward poured in 43 points against the Stevens Institute Freshmen. However, his most heroic performance took place on February 9 when Peddie hosted the rival Bucs from Blair Academy. Kistler registered 26 points in the 70-67 overtime victory. Down 63-61, teammate Lee Vulgaris found Kistler with a perfect pass and #41 dunked the ball just as time expired in the fourth quarter. The game-tying bucket forced the extra stanza in which Peddie outscored Blair 7-4 to secure the win.
At Duke University, Kistler scored 932 career points and received the 1960 Swett-Baylin Award given annually to the team’s most valuable player. For his court contributions in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament, Kistler was selected as the MVP of the 1960 ACC Tourney. The Honorable Mention All-American led his BLue Devils to their first ever ACC title, defeating Wake FOrest 63-59. The NBA’s Detroit Pistons drafted Doug in the third round with the 26th overall pick and he played the 1961-1962 season with the New York Knicks.
We honor his achievements on the hardwood, for which Coach Toni Kuolt was inspired to declare, “Doug Kistler was the best player I ever coached.” Welcome home to the Hall, Doug!