Sunday, November 18, 2012

Clyde Lovellette inducted today

Though he played just three years, Clyde Lovellette is KU's fourth-leading scorer with 1,979 points

Though he played just three years, Clyde Lovellette is KU's fourth-leading scorer with 1,979 points


Clyde Lovellette says he is humbled and honored by today’s induction into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.

“I think it’s great. It’s always great to get recognized as old as I am,” joked the 83-year-old former Kansas University center, who is a member of the 10-person Class of 2012. Others to be inducted in a 7:30 p.m. ceremony at The Midland in Kansas City, Mo.: Patrick Ewing (Georgetown), Phil Ford (North Carolina), Joe B. Hall (Kentucky), Dave Robbins (Virginia Union), Kenny Sailors (Wyoming), Earl Monroe (Winston Salem State), Willis Reed (Grambling), Jim Host (founded Host Communications) and Joe Dean (Louisiana State University).

“At the University of Kansas, I had a lot of great honors,” the 6-foot-10, three-time All-American told the Journal-World in a phone interview. He currently lives in North Manchester, Ind.

“There’s the 1952 (national title) team, the Olympic gold medal (’52 in Helsinki), the (Naismith Memorial) Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., and now this one in Kansas City. I always said the gold medal was the greatest one because it was for the United States, Kansas, Kansas University and myself and the team. The Hall of Fame is such an honor. I credit all the guys I played with at the University of Kansas. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Lovellette’s KU teammate, Bill Lienhard, is to introduce Lovellette at the ceremony.

“Clyde was really dominant in his day,” Lienhard said. “If he had the ball around the basket, he got it in there. He was not only a good scorer, but a good shooter.

“You couldn’t dunk in 1952. He had to shoot to get everything in the basket for 28 points a game. Everybody likes Clyde,” Lienhard added of the three-time NBA champion (twice with Boston, once with Minneapolis). “Clyde is a real gentleman, born-again Christian and great guy.”

He also was a “tough guy,” Lienhard added.

“If anybody guarded him too close ... he had a sweeping hook shot,” Lienhard said. “That left elbow would go out when he went in (toward goal). More than one center got an elbow in his jaw on the turn. He was a good scorer, rebounder and very tough.”

Lovellette was the first player to win championships in the NCAA, AAU, NBA and Olympics. He led the Big Seven Conference in scoring in each of his three seasons. He was the country’s top scorer in 1952 at 28.6 points per game and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 1952 NCAA Tournament. He ranks as the No. 4 scorer in KU history with 1,979 career points (24.7 ppg) and No. 11 all-time leading rebounder with 813 (10.2 rpg). He had a 12-year NBA career with stops at Minneapolis, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Boston. Since retiring from hoops after the 1964 season, he worked in the area of law enforcement and juvenile counseling in his native state of Indiana.

He was elected to the KU Athletics Hall of Fame in May, 1988.


jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

28 ppg hooking.

Hook Shot Hall of Fame, too.

Clyde and Kareem in a double low offense.

Hook'em big fellas.


The most dominant player of the game's first 60 years.


Michael Luby 9 years, 7 months ago

Representing Jayhawks.

All over the world.

Nathan Scholl 9 years, 7 months ago

Clyde Lovellette is my hero. Dean Smith modeled his big men after him, follow Roy, follow everyone else. Rock Chalk Historical Jayhawk. I wish Jeff Withey would follow suit and watch some game film of the big guy. Maybe then, he wouldn't have to get "amped up for the game." He'd just bring it every night like the legend he COULD BE. Please read this Jeff. We need you to wake up.

gchawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Congratulations, Clyde. This is a very well deserved honor.

KU79 9 years, 7 months ago

Congrats big guy. I grew up hearing about you and you're one of the all time greats. Rock Chalk!

Martin Rosenblum 9 years, 7 months ago

The Booth Family neesd to build something and put Clyde's name on it!

Jhawkvalley 9 years, 7 months ago

Had the privilege of meeting Clyde outside the Superdome at the Final Four last April. What a great guy...he represents KU so well. The original gentle giant of basketball. Rock Chalk Clyde.

rsandme196268 9 years, 7 months ago

I was 7 years old when my Dad and I listened to the KU St. John's game in Kansas City, on the radio.There was no TV broadcasts of Basketball in 1951. We lived in Topeka, KS and Clyde became my first real hero. I graduated from KU in 1967 and was a friend of Delvy Lewis, Co - Capt. of our 1966 Basketball team that produced 4 NBA players, Walt Westley, JoJo White, Lopes, and Ron Franz. As many of you know, Delvy passed away earlier this year. That really would have been the next National Championship, if Jojo's 30 foot rim rattling shot, would not have been ruled out. His toe was 4 - inches from the out of bounds line. I've lived in Oklahoma, and worked in the pipeline business as an Engineering Consultant, since 1970. I've actually had the luck to sit in First Class on a TWA Flight from St. Louis in 1997 next to Bill Self, a few days after he accepted the Tulsa University head coaching position. When I told him of my love of KU Basketball, he informed me that in 1986 Larry Brown let him be an assitant at KU and paid him $6000. I could tell he was stary eyed when he mentioned Brown, and held KU in great respect. He's as class an act as there is. He has no super ego, he a real human being. After talking to me for 45 minutes, he excused himself and wrote a personal hand written letter to Oral Roberts, thanking him for the chance to be a Head Coach at Oral Roberts University. After finishing the letter, he turned to me and said.....would you like to talk some more about KU Basketball. Thanks for reading this... Ralph / Tulsa

bayareajhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for sharing your memories. That is a fantastic Bill Self story.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

I believe you. I believe the man you met is the real Self.

Jack Jones 9 years, 7 months ago

Congratulations, Clyde, for this obviously well deserved, and also obviously, long over-due recognition of your achievements both on the basketball court, as well as off. You, and the other members of the 1950-1952 basketball teams were my introduction to what has become a 62 + year love affair with all-things KU. The 1952 NCAA Championship game in which you scored 36 points; the win over the NIT Champion LaSalle University, followed by the Olympic play-off series near-victory over the AAU Champion Peoria Caterpillar Diesels; culminating in the following Olympic Games Championship Game over Russia, obviously remain (almost) as vivid now as then. For Kansas University BB fans who might not have already done so, taking time to look back at those years would be well worth doing. For instance, to think that after 10 minutes of the USA-USSR championship game, the score was 4-3 - no shot clock - the Soviet team utilized the same game plan as the Wilt Chamberlain- era opponents.

Thanks for the memories.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 7 months ago

Fifty plus years to induct this great man and player???? Who is running the Hall of Fame balloting, the State of Florida Election Board?????????

I got to see Clyde play as a St.Louis Hawk...sweetest hook shot this side of Kareem Abdul Jabbar!!

Congratulations, big guy!!

wrwlumpy 9 years, 7 months ago

As A child, I fashioned my hook shot after Clyde and my jump shot after Sy Hugo Green.

If only I had the game of Bob Petit. Clyde is one of the old players who would make it in todays paint.

Scott MacWilliams 9 years, 7 months ago

Çongratulations, Clyde!! You are more than deserving. But again, how come they took so long?? Makes NO sense.

One of Clyde's teammates was John Keller, who I came to know as a science teacher and fellow church member in Great Bend, KS, where I grew up. I knew the Kellers a long time before I heard about his winning a National Championship and Olympic Gold Medal. When I first heard it, I could NOT believe it. To me he was just this big, quiet teacher I knew from church. Apparently he never played another game after the Olympic games, and went right into teaching. From all I saw, he was completely comfortable with that. He was a highly respected teacher, community member and all-around great guy.

RIP, Mr. Keller

Commenting has been disabled for this item.