Kansas Well Represented in Naismith Basketball Hall Class of 2010
April 5, 2010
INDIANAPOLIS – Former Kansas guard Al Kelley was a member of the 1960 USA Men’s Olympic team that was named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Class of 2010, announced Monday.
Eight individuals and two teams were named to the Enshrinement Class of 2010. The inductees include Jerry Buss, Cynthia Cooper, Bob Hurley, Sr., Karl Malone and Scottie Pippen, along with two celebrated teams: the 1960 USA Men’s Olympic teamand the 1992 USA Basketball “Dream Team.” The Class of 2010 also includes three legendary players: Dennis Johnson, Gus Johnson and international star Maciel “Ubiratan” Pereira, all of whom will be honored posthumously. The announcement was made at a press conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, the site of the 2010 NCAA Final Four.
Kelley was a three-year letterman at Kansas for head coach Phog Allen from 1952-54 and was a member of the 1952 NCAA National Championship team. He was a two-time All-Big Seven Conference first team selection in 1953 and 1954. His gold medal from the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome is in the Booth Family Hall of Athletics located on the east side of Allen Fieldhouse. Originally from McCune, Kan., Kelley and his wife Barbara, from Oskaloosa, Kan., have lived in Lawrence for 10 years since he retired from Caterpillar.
“The main thing I remember were the players,” Kelley said. “I was a guard, about six foot. I was selected in a playoff game between the AAU champion and college all stars. They beat us and took Jerry West and Oscar Robertson at guard. I played for the Caterpillar AAU team and they (the U.S. Olympic Committee) selected Bob Boozer from Kansas State and myself.”
“The thing I remember about the practice sessions we played around the U.S. were Oscar (Robertson) and Jerry West were the ones I was competing against and I didn’t feel bad that I got beat out because they both played pro ball for a long time,” Kelley said. “I remember the companionship with the rest of the fellows, the Olympic Village and the food. Some of the Olympics I watched was boxing with Cassius Clay. I watched Wilma Rudolph run and the decathlon was great with Rafer Johnson.”
Other KU ties to the 1960 USA Men’s Basketball Olympic team include manager Arthur “Dutch” Lonborg and trainer Dean Nesmith. Lonborg, who served as KU director of athletics from 1950-64, was inducted as an individual to the Hall in 1972. He was instrumental in organizing the first NCAA basketball tournament in 1939 while coaching basketball at Northwestern. Nesmith was a KU legend in athletic training having served 46 years at Kansas from 1938-84.
“They (Lonborg and Nesmith) were selected by the Olympic Committee as representatives,” Kelley said. “I had good visits with them. We were able to renew some KU Jayhawker experiences.”
Kelley and Nesmith join 16 others who have Kansas ties to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The latest included former Jayhawk men’s basketball coach Roy Williams who was enshrined in 2007. Others with years inducted are Dr. James Naismith (1959), Dr. F.C. Allen (1959), E.C. Quigley (1961), John Bunn (1964), Adolph Rupp (1959), Paul Endacott (1971), Dutch Lonborg (1972), Bill Johnson (1976), John McClendon (1978), Wilt Chamberlain (1978), Dean Smith (1984), Ralph Miller (1988), Clyde Lovellette (1988), Larry Brown (2002) and Lynette Woodard (2004).
Another individual going into the Hall in 2010 is Bob Hurley, Sr., who coached current Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor while at St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, N.J. Hurleywas born in Jersey City, N.J., and played college basketball at St. Peter’s before becoming the head coach at St. Anthony’s High School in Jersey City in 1972. Hurley has since compiled over 900 wins at St. Anthony’s while leading the team to 25 State Parochial Championships and three USA Today National Championships (1989, 1996, 2008). Hurley was twice named National Coach of the Year by USA Today (1989, 1996) and was elected to the New Jersey Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. He is only the third person elected to the Hall of Fame exclusively for his service to high school basketball (Morgan Wootten, Bertha Teague).
“I am proud to have played for Coach Hurley and be a very small part of his legacy,” said Taylor who also played a role in the recently released movie documentary “The Street Stops Here,” featuring Hurley. “His coaching and teaching go far beyond basketball. He wants every one of his players to do well in life.”