Lincoln Dotson Truss

1986 Greater Flint Afro-American Hall of Fame Inductee


Son of Andrew and Fannie Truss
Wife: Hazel Truss
Daughter: Debbie

In 1928 Andrew and Fannie Truss moved to Flint from Gary, Indiana, along with their sons, Homer, Isaac, Lincoln Dotson, Grady and daughter, Emma. The youngsters were enrolled into the Flint school system. While in the 9th grade at Emerson Jr. High, Lincoln’s basketball career began. He played on a team that won the City Championship in 1929.

Upon arriving at Northern High School, he immediately made his presence known on the court. Lincoln could pass, dribble and score with either hand, however, he still had to go through the system of first the third team, then the reserves, before getting his chance to play varsity.

Barclay noticed the greatness in him as a basketball player but his style of play had to be toned down to blend with the other players. His defensive skills and ball handling were unmatched by anyone he had ever coached. Truss was an unselfish player. He could score from anywhere on the court and he had great jumping ability. In 1933, he led Northern to Flint’s first State Championship. He was also selected on the All-State Team in 1933.

In Northern’s first Valley Championship, he set a new Saginaw Valley scoring record (103 points). He also set season scoring records including tournament games, scoring 139 points and breaking all preceding records. His average was 10.5 per game which made him the city scoring champ. During the state tournament it was acknowledged by other coaches and sports writers that his defensive skills were unmatched by anyone in the state.

After graduation he played on a local team known as the Flint Owls, managed by Eddie Simmons. Later he managed the first all-black team in the Flint City Class A League. The team was sponsored by Catsman Coal and won the championship and also defeated an All-Star team selected to play them.

In 1936 his high school coach, Jim Barclay, got him a try-out with the touring professional team, the New York Renaissance against an All-Star Team from Flint. The Ren’s coach was highly impressed but Lincoln chose not to pursue the opportunity to turn pro. His playing days came to an end in 1943 in the Detroit “Y” league made up of college stars in that area. He was selected the MVP, receiving a trophy. What a way to finish a brilliant playing career.