Born: September 7, 1929 – Petersburg, IN
Graduated: Garfield H.S. (Terre Haute, IN), 1948; University of Kansas, 1952
Deceased: March 9, 2016 - North Manchester, IN
A two–time consensus All–American center, six–foot–nine–inch Clyde Lovellette led the Kansas Jayhawks to an 80–63 victory over St. John’s in the 1952 NCAA basketball championship game. That year, Lovellette led the nation in scoring with his average of 28.4 points per game, was named Most Valuable Player in the NCAA Final Four, and Helms Foundation Player of the Year.
Lovellette had career highs of 44 points against St. Louis and 22 rebounds against Colorado. He left Kansas as the school’s all–time scoring and rebounding leader with 1,888 career points and 813 rebounds in 77 games. Lovellette began his career as an All–State player in Indiana. During his three seasons at KU, he was the Big–Seven scoring champion each season (21.8, 22.8, 28.4 scoring averages) and made first team All–Conference all three years.
Olympic & Professional Highlights
Lovellette was a member of the 1952 U.S.A. Olympic gold medal team in Helsinki. In 1952–53, he played with the Phillips 66ers, champions of the National Industrial League with a 50-5 record, as he scored 944 points and was named to the NIBL All–Star Team. Lovellette spent 11 seasons in the NBA, 1954 – 1966, and played for three world championship teams – The Minneapolis Lakers (1954) and Boston Celtics (1963 and 1964). He averaged 17 points in his 704 NBA games.
Lovellette was inducted in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988 and the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012.