Dwayne Stuart Dunston had a love for basketball.
He died Nov. 1, 2011. He was 54.
Dunston was born April 28, 1957 in Washington, D.C. to Beatrice and Roland Dunston.
He accepted Christ at an early age and joined Christian Stronghold Baptist Church on June 17, 1990.
He was raised in Philadelphia by his surrogate father, Oscar Adams, and his mother, Beatrice.
He graduated from Overbrook High School in 1975 and received a bachelor’s degree in sociology, specializing in mental health/mental retardation from Lincoln University in 1980. He was also one of the founding members of Together Pi Brothers, a fraternity at Lincoln University.
For 15 years he worked with mentally challenged clients at Elwyn Inc., after which he worked for the city of Philadelphia as an interstate hearing officer and at the Kirkbride Center.
Although he enjoyed his work very much, Dunston’s heart was always with the sport of basketball.
For more than 30 years, Dunston taught the game to anyone who was willing to learn.
Boys and girls, adults and children, everyone was welcome. His love of the sport led him to tournaments as far south as Florida, as far west as Ohio, as far north as Rhode Island, and all over the Tri-State Area. He won numerous championships as a coach, and some of his former players went on to play at the collegiate, semi-professional and professional levels.
But Dunston was not always a coach. As a player, he had the ability to see things develop before the opposition or his own teammates, and he was also known for his precision shooting skills, and these two feats on the court led him to be called Hawkeye or simply “Hawk” by many.
The name transcended playgrounds and recreation centers, and while his players added “coach” to the beginning of the name in a sign of respect, friends, family and loved ones referred to him as Hawk on the regular.
Dunston always enjoyed trading stories, and he had a talent for making people laugh. It was hard to interact with him without immediately feeling at ease in his company, and in parting ways, it seemed that he would always give a small piece of wisdom to take away from the interaction. He was always looking to make those around him better and this selflessness was what brought so many people to him.
Dunston received numerous awards over his lifetime including: the Mighty Man of Valor Award from Christian Stronghold Baptist Church in 1997; “Men Making A Difference” award given to him by Congressman Chaka Fattah in 1998; Achievement awards for the NBA Read to Achieve Program given to him by State Senator Vincent Hughes in 2002; and Volunteer of the Year, which was awarded by Shephard Recreation Center in 2004.
Dunston is survived by his wife of 28 years, Brenda Dunston; two sons, Dwight and Dwayne; two daughters, DeBreea and Tawanna Jones; two granddaughters, Troi Williams and Sa’Rah Shani West-Dunston; two brothers, Daryel and Reginald; two sisters-in-law, Sandra and Pamela Dunston; extended family, Leonard and Mary Brent, and Paulette Adams; and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held Nov. 9 at Christian Stronghold Baptist Church, 4701 Lancaster Ave. Viewing is at 9 a.m. Services to follow at 11.