Academic All-American Bud Stallworth lends library a helping hand


Last week he was golfing with Moses Malone and other basketball legends in Houston during NBA All-Star Week. He’s back in snow-covered Lawrence and will be mini-golfing indoors tonight to help the Lawrence Public Library Foundation raise money.

If you know anything at all about Bud Stallworth, you know that has been his life in a nutshell: Books, basketball and golf.

Next time you enter Allen Fieldhouse, look at the banner hanging on the north wall, the one that says “Academic All-Americans.” You’ll find his name on it.

If you attend tonight’s Caddy Stacks bash at the vacant library (707 Vermont Street), the friendly, approachable Stallworth will have stories to tell. Ask him to share the one about:

*Meeting and getting to know heavyweight champion and anti-war activist Muhammad Ali, the world’s most famous 20th-century athlete.

*Playing under coach Bill Russell, the greatest champion in the history of basketball, but a better player than coach, according to Stallworth.

*Being recruited to play basketball for his home state’s university by Alabama’s legendary football coach, Bear Bryant, but deciding to come to Kansas instead.

*Teaming with Spencer Haywood in Seattle and Pistol Pete Maravich in New Orleans. If you think Stallworth liked to shoot, ask him about Pistol.

*Playing in the NBA against Wilt Chamberlain, Walt Frazier, Earl “The Pearl” Monroe and so many other greats.

*Scoring 50 points against Missouri on Feb. 26, 1972.

Those are the stories everyone likes to discuss, but Stallworth knows that his parents, both of whom were educators in his small hometown of Hartselle, Ala., were right when they told him books would do even more for him than basketball.

After his NBA career ended, Stallworth owned a couple of restaurants before he moved back to Lawrence and went to work for his alma mater. Stallworth held big jobs for the Med Center and on the Lawrence campus during his 22 years working for KU.

“When the classrooms began crumbling,” as Stallworth put it, he oversaw a budget of nearly $50 million for projects designed to improve the infrastructure.

His degree, he said, did do more for him even than his sweet jumper. Tonight, he’ll showcase his lefty putting stroke.

“I’ve been putting pretty good lately,” said Stallworth, one of the Masters at tonight’s event.

KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger, former Royals pitcher and KU baseball coach Marty Pattin, Firekeeper head pro Randy Towner and Lawrence Country Club assistant pro Kristen Samp are among other Lawrence Masters participating in the event.

A ticket for the Mingle with the Masters pre-party, which begins at 6:30 is $50. Adult open golf begins at 7:30 and costs $35.


TulsaJayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

My brother also was a KU employee, had opportunities to interact with Mr. Satllworth, and had nothing but good things to say about him.

Tom Keegan 5 years, 3 months ago

TulsaJayhawk, Not surprised to hear that. Bud's just a nice guy who treats everybody great. He even speaks highly of Pistol Pete and Pistol Pete never passed him the ball. I remember having Bud's basketball card when I was a kid.

Al Martin 5 years, 3 months ago

Nice story. My wife worked at the ticket office while I was in grad school, and she met Bud several times. Said he was as nice a guy as you'd ever meet.

Off topic, but "vacant library"? Is the Vermont Street library closed? I spent a lot of time there back in the day...

Frank A Janzen 5 years, 3 months ago

707 Vermont is closed for a year while they renovate extensively, and build a big parking lot. Meanwhile, 700 New Hampshire, the old Borders, is the temporary Lawrence Public Library until the new library is ready. It works out quite fine.

Steve Reigle 5 years, 3 months ago

For those of us a couple thousand miles from Lawrence, could you do an article to relate those Stallworth stories? I'd love to hear them but no way can I get there to hear them in person. Thanks.

Ray Winger 5 years, 3 months ago looks like you really get it. It is all good. Pitch-in, with whatever you have to help......Big or Less....thanks for your help.

seventytwohawk 5 years, 3 months ago

This is my first time to comment, although I have reading these articles/blogs for several years. I moved into JRP, which was the athletic dorm before Jayhawk Towers were built, in the fall of 1968. I was going to run cross country and track, but with majoring in Chemistry, the workouts took up too much time. I went out for the KU marching band instead and was fortunate enough to go to the Orange Bowl my first year which is another story. Bud and Aubrey shared a room on the north hall of the 2nd floor on which I lived. I went to a small high school in Western Kansas, so played all the sports. I was playing with some other non-scholarship students on a Sat. afternoon on the BBall courts next to JRP when Bud and Aubrey came out of the dorm to shoot. We asked them to play. I was on Bud's team and I would inbound the ball. He would dribble a couple times toward midcourt, shoot, and swish. Then we would all play defense against Aubrey's team. Aubrey was one rough player. I didn't have to guard him, thank God, but there were a few bruises. We could all see that they were in another league at the end of the scrimmage. I was also at Bud's 50 point game against Missouri. Went to every home football and basketball game for 4 years, so lots of memories. I did become very good friends with Bob Kivisto and a group of us from Beta Sigma Psi went on the road following the 70-7l final four team that got a badly called game in the Astrodome against UCLA. Hope to post more in the future about the teams from 1968-1972.

jaybate 5 years, 3 months ago

Bring the stories. This is the web site of record for KU hoops. I was there 72-76. We need more 68-72 stuff. OakvilleJHawk will bridge with you.

Richard Benson 5 years, 3 months ago

In the Summer of 1970 after my sophomore year in high school, I attended debate camp at KU. Stallworth stayed in Lawrence that Summer. We would have pick-up games of 5 on 2. The 2 would be Stallworth and anyone else. We (the 5) regularly lost by scores of 21-2 or 21-3. We would scrap like hell. Stallworth dominated us soooooo very effortlessly.

He was a genuinely nice man. He probably took interest in us because he first came to KU under circumstances quite similar to our own: to attend music camp.

God bless him, and send him a smile.

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