Clyde Lovellette – A Kansas Legend

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Like all of the Jayhawk family, KU BALLS mourned the passing of Clyde Lovellette earlier this week. Lovellette was enshrined into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988, for his titles and achievements in basketball including being a pioneer of the sport as “one of the first big men to move outside and utilize the one-handed set shot, extending his shooting range and offensive repertoire.”

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Originally from Indiana and recruited heavily by IU, the story goes that Phog Allen (at least in part) lured Lovellette to KU by telling him that the height on Mount Oread would be good for his asthma. Yes, that Mount Oread – all 1000+ feet above sea level. At Kansas, Lovellette accrued a variety of colorful nicknames, including: The All-American Alp, Altitudinous Asthamatic, Asthamatic Alp, The Campanile of the Courts, Cloudburst Clyde, Colossal Clyde, Cumbersome Clyde, Cumulus Clyde, The Fabulous Frenchman, Leaning Tower of Lawrence, Clyde “Mount” Lovellette, The Rampaging Redwood, The Superlative Sequoia, and The Terre Haute Terror.

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For most KU fans however, Lovellette will be known as a champion. Beloved for leading the Jayhawks to the 1952 NCAA Championship and being named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, Lovellette helped to formally cement Kansas as a basketball powerhouse. In addition, Lovellette played on the United States’ 1952 gold medal team, won an AAU title, and also won three NBA championships, becoming the first player to accomplish such a feat.

In celebration of Lovellette’s life, KU BALLS is proud to present in its entirety a 1952 pictorial magazine documenting KU’s championship season, where the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player is featured prominently and appears on just about every page:

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Rock Chalk In Peace, Clyde…

4 thoughts

  1. Love two photos of Dad and tried really hard to find the photographer. The microphone photo and the photo of him standing in the fire truck with the Chief’s hat in his hand. Any thoughts? Cindy

    1. Nice to “e-meet” you, Cindy! The pictures I have & posted are from a magazine published later in 1952 in celebration of the team. I don’t have anything that tells me who specifically took the two pictures you’re asking about, but the three photographers listed for the magazine are Jim Murray, Maurice Prather, and Rich Clarkson. Jim and Maurice are deceased, but Rich had a long & extremely successful photography career and is currently in Denver, CO. I would suggest reaching out to him via his company’s website: http://www.clarkson-creative.com/ as I bet he might have these pictures given the volume of outstanding work he did for/of KU.

      If that doesn’t work, let me know and I can try to connect you with a contact I have at the KU Archives, or – as a last resort – try to take as good of a picture as I can of those two shots to send to you.

      1. Thank you and nice to meet you as well. I’ve been in touch with Rich. He was in Indy a few years ago and did an interview with Dad at an event for the NCAA. He didn’t take those photos darn it. He thinks the negatives might be lost. I’ve reached out to KU archives and they sent me what they have but those photos were not in what they sent. I truly believe they were in an old photo album at Dad’s up in the UP. After he moved back home to Indiana we couldn’t find them again. I have a copy of the same magazine you have! My Dad’s Mom sold them door to door for $1.00 to help raise funds for Dad and the team to go to the Olympics! Thank you for the reply. If you find any unusual photos of Dad I’d love to see them. Sincerely, Cindy

      2. I should have guessed that you already tried that route. The only other thing I can come up with is trying eBay from time-to-time. I did a quick search and found a couple of pics (not the ones you’re asking about) including this negative of your dad with Phog Allen: https://www.ebay.com/itm/LG8-LG8-34-Orig-5×7-Negative-CLYDE-LOVELLETTE-Former-Basketball-Player/183174747575?hash=item2aa610d5b7:g:t~UAAOSwacVaxSKQ

        I collect KU memorabilia and will reach back out if I see anything related to the pictures you’re interested in. On a related note, if you “happen to have things laying around” that you’re looking to get rid of, please let me know. 😉 BTW, great story about how your grandmother helped get the team to Helsinki! – Lance

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