By Earl Heath
One of the most fun, hard working big men in NBA history has left us. Bob Boozer was a two time All-American at Kansas State where he was one of the greatest players in school history. Boozer passed away due to a brain aneurysm last weekend. He was visiting friends in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska when he became ill. He was 75.
“He always said that he got everything you could have ever gotten from playing basketball,” said his wife Ella. The two had been married for 46 years.
Boozer was part of the 1960 gold medal winning Olympic team. His teammates included former Laker great Jerry West, Oscar Robertson, Adrian Smith and Jerry Lucas. They all were enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. I caught up with Boozer before his death at the Mohegan Sun where the dinner took place. He was joking and laughing with many of his teammates. During the run for the gold the team won eight games by an average of 42 points.
Ten players on that team went on to play in the NBA. Boozer was the number one pick in the 1959 draft. He went on to average 14 points, 8 rebounds a game for six different pro teams including the Los Angeles Lakers in 1965-1966 season
He won the NBA championship in 1971 with the Milwaukee Bucks. His teamates included two former UCLA Bruins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Lew Alcindor and Lucious Allen.
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