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Ex-Coolidge High School, University of Arizona basketball standout Robbie Dosty dies
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Ex-Coolidge High School, University of Arizona basketball standout Robbie Dosty dies

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Robbie Dosty, a former Coolidge High School and UA basketball standout and father of two of the most decorated female athletes in recent Tucson high school history, has died. He was 62.

Former UA teammate Russell Brown confirmed Dosty’s death Friday morning. Dosty had been in a Mesa hospice as he battled cancer.

Dosty played at the UA from 1977-81, averaging 10 points and five rebounds per game. The Golden State Warriors took the 6-foot-5-inch Dosty with their sixth-round (148th overall) pick in the 1981 draft. He later returned to Southern Arizona, working in the insurance industry and private business.

Dosty grew up in Randolph, a historically Black neighborhood in Pinal County, and attended Coolidge High School. While there, he helped lead the Bears to a 26-0 record and their first state title in 1976. Dosty did it all while taking care of an elderly distant relative in a ramshackle house; he moved in with the man at age 8, when his mother died. Dosty did all the cooking, and the two lived off the elderly man’s social security check.

Dosty spent a year at a junior college before signing with the UA and coach Fred Snowden. His career with the Wildcats was nearly derailed when Dosty was seriously injured in a July 1978 car wreck. Dosty’s car swerved to avoid a dog, veered off Interstate 10 south of Tempe and flipped, leaving him with a collapsed lung and a knee injury that required multiple surgeries. He missed his sophomore season and started just one game as a junior before averaging a career-high 13.4 points and 6.6 rebounds as a senior.

A Feb. 5, 1981 Star story explained that Dosty began to shine when two of the team’s top forwards, Greg Cook and Dave Mosebar, departed the team after one punched the other.

“At 6-5, 190 pounds, (Dosty) is probably the best rebounder on an otherwise poor rebounding team,” the Star wrote. “It’s not unusual to see Dosty plow his way inside, maybe throw an elbow in the process, leap high and with one hand, snare the rebound out of the sky.

“He lands with a snarl on his face. Opponents get the message.”

Dosty’s two daughters found success at Salpointe Catholic High School. Sybil Dosty averaged 27 points and 11 rebounds per game over four seasons, and in 2004 was named the Gatorade Arizona Women’s Basketball Player of the Year. She went on to play for legendary coach Pat Summitt at the University of Tennessee before finishing her career at ASU. Dosty’s younger daughter, Whitney, was a standout volleyball player at Salpointe and the UA who played overseas and for Team USA.

Dosty was beset by legal issues in recent years, and had moved back to Coolidge. He is survived by his children.

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