It seems only fitting that the same campus where one of the nation’s fastest college basketball teams plays is where the premier showing of a documentary about the coach credited with introducing the fast break to the game takes place.
The premier of “The Forgotten Coach: The John McLendon Story,” a documentary directed by film professor and movie maker Kevin Willmott, is set for 7 p.m. in room 3140 of Wescoe Hall. The event is free and open to the public.
McLendon earlier this year gained induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as coach. A native of Kansas City who died in 1984, McLendon already had been inducted in 1979 as a contributor to the game.
McLendon became the first black student to earn a physical education degree from the University of Kansas and studied under KU’s first basketball coach, Dr. James Naismith, basketball’s inventor.
McLendon graduated from KU in 1937 and went on to win three consecutive national titles as head coach at Tennessee A&I; (1957-59). He also coached in the professional ranks and was assistant coach on the 1968 and 1972 U.S. Olympic teams.