Grady Truss

1986 Greater Flint Afro-American Hall of Fame Inductee


Son of Andrew and Fannie Truss
Wife: Spencelle O. Truss
Son: Vance, daughter: Paula

When the name Truss appeared in the line-up at Flint Northern, opposing coaches were saying to each other “another one?” That was said because Grady’s brother, Lincoln, had passed through Northern leaving the name of Truss as something to fear.

In 1934, Northern had lost the State title after winning in 1933 but now opponents were faced with an exceedingly bashful sophomore named Grady Truss. He was a tall spindle-legged youngster with long arms and hands at the pivot spot. There would be no moving up the system for him. He became an instant star.

He played the key position on defense and triggered the offense that led Northern to a record nineteen straight wins, tying the State Class A record held by Lansing Central in 1934.

Led by lanky Grady Truss, Northern played superior basketball for three years. Time and time again his long hands seemed to appear from nowhere to bat down field goal attempts by opposing players. He controlled the backboards at both ends of the court. He seldom lost a tip off, allowing Northern to always score first. His play at the pivot and brilliant defensive play were outstanding factors that brought Northern and himself success and honor’s during his outstanding three years at Northern. He won All-State honors in 1935-36. Grady won the City, Valley and State Championship in 1936, City and Valley Champions three straight years.

Truss set a city series scoring record for a career Northern vs. Central (75 points). He scored a record fifty-one points in a five game state tournament. In 1936 he was one of two men to score over 100 points on the same team in one season in the Saginaw Valley. He was selected MVP in the Saginaw Valley in 1937. He was the first black basketball player captain at Northern-1936-37 and was considered by many to be the best center in Flint high school history for many years.

In 1938, Maurie Cossman, in his article “Echoes in the Valley,” picked the Northern all-time All-Star Team and named Dotson and Grady Truss, Bill Barclay, Andy Sabota and George Falkowski as his choices.