Former Syracuse University basketball star Dennis DuVal was a sight to behold on the hardwood. DuVal, a savvy guard with an array of slick scoring moves, is among the top scorers in SU history with 1,504 points. He also made a profound impact in the Syracuse community by becoming the city’s first African-American police chief.
DuVal, nicknamed “Sweet D”, scored 1,504 career points for the Orangemen in three varsity seasons (1971-1974). He made an impressive varsity debut in 1971-72, scoring 15.8 ppg. DuVal led SU in scoring (19.6 ppg) and assists (113) as a junior. As a senior, the 6-foot-3 DuVal was a third team All-American selection and scored a team-high 20.6 ppg.
DuVal was drafted by the Washington Bullets of the NBA and the Denver Nuggets of the ABA. He played two years in the NBA, one with the Bullets and the other with the Atlanta Hawks. When his pro career concluded, DuVal returned to Syracuse and began 26-year career in law enforcement. DuVal moved up ranks in the Syracuse Police Department until he was named the city’s police chief in 2001, a post he held until his retirement in 2004.
1969-1970: First team All-State in basketball at Westbury HS
1970-1971: SU Freshmen team; 347 points, 19.2 ppg
1971-1974: SU Varsity; scored 1,504 career points
1974: Named District Two All-Star team by National Association of Basketball Coaches, Named UPI Division I Honorable Mention All-America, ECAC Division All-Star, All-East Basketball Team, First team Sporting News All-American; Second team Basketball News All-American, Third team Basketball Weekly All-American, Third team Associated Press All-American, Street & Smith All-American, Universal Sports All-American, Citizen Savings All-American, Won Lou Andreas Syracuse University's MVP Basketball Award, Graduated from SU, Sociology Major
1974: Drafted by Washington Bullets of the NBA and by the Denver Rockets of ABA; signed a three-year contract with the Washington Bullets.
1974: Washington Bullets, NBA
1975-1976: Atlanta Hawks, NBA
1976: Syracuse Centennials
1976-1977: Deputy jailer, Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department
1978: Appointed police officer, Syracuse Police Department
1985: Received Vic Hanson Medal by SU Hardwood Club
1990: Named Syracuse Deputy Police Chief
2000: Honored by Syracuse University as a member of the All-Century Basketball Team
2001: Named Syracuse Police Chief, Syracuse's first black police chief
2004: Retired from the Syracuse Police Department as Chief of Police. Syracuse officials and community leaders praised DuVal as a man who had the courage to take on the city's gangs. Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick called DuVal "the best chief the city of Syracuse ever had."
A 26-year veteran of the Syracuse Police Department, DuVal served three years as chief, battling inner-city gangs and working to ease tensions between Syracuse's poor and largely black neighborhoods and its mostly white police force.