Charlie Koon graduated Bremerton High School in 1949 after leading the Wildcats to the state tournament for three consecutive years. At the tournament his sophomore year, they placed sixth. In this junior year, they lost the championship game. They did not place his senior year.
Koon then went on to play at Olympic College for 2017 inductee Phil Pesco. The 5-11 point guard was routinely described as ‘tough,’ ‘fearless,’ and ‘aggressive’ despite his height. He helped lead the Rangers back to the National Junior College tournament after the team placed 4thin 1949.
The 1949-1950 Ranger team had a rough start to the season, losing three out of their first four games. By mid-season, the team was 7-5. With Koon’s ‘dead-eye’ shooting and the leadership of the sophomore class, the Rangers cruised through the second half the season winning nine while only dropped 3 contests, finishing 16-8. The team won the Region III Tournament. Koon, along with teammate Hal Sherbeck, was one of 10 named to the All-Star team for the tournament.
The Rangers went 2-2 in the National Junior College Tournament. Koon was named to the All-American Team.
The 1950-51 squad went 25-4 overall and 15-1 in conference play to bring home the school’s fourth consecutive Washington Junior College basketball championship and the third straight Region III title. Koon was again named to the All-American team, though honorable mention this time. His play caught the attention of University of Washington head coach, Art McLarney, who offered him a scholarship that Koon accepted.
In the 1952-53 season, led by head coach Tippy Dye, Koon and the senior-heavy Husky squad finished 23-3 and reached the school’s first NCAA Final Four. After college, Koon and three of the UW teammates played for the Buchan Bakers of the Northwest AAU League. He garnered All-American honors in the 1956 when the team won the National Championship. The Bakers were then invited to the four-team tournament to determine the 1956 U.S Olympic team but they were named alternates.
After his playing days ended, Koon taught math and PE in the Shoreline School District near Seattle for more than 30 years until his retirement.
Koon passed in 2002.