While he was billed as a seven-foot basketball player, Robert Albert “Bob” Kurland admits to being only 6’11”. Linked to Oklahoma State University basketball and famed coach Henry Iba, he led the Cowboys to consecutive NCAA titles in 1945 and 1946. Bob’s ability to block shots above the rim led the NCAA to institute its goal-tending rule in 1945. He was also one of the first players to dunk the basketball. Bob Kurland won two Olympic gold medals in 1948 and 1952 and was honored by being chosen to carry the U.S. flag in the 1952 opening ceremonies in Helsinki. He turned down the St. Louis Bombers when they drafted him in 1947. Because the NBA was in its early stages it could not provide a secure and comfortable lifestyle for him, so he chose to work for Phillips Petroleum and play for the Phillips 66ers in the Amateur Athletic Union. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as well as the Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. Bob Kurland died September 29, 2013. He was 88.
Interview with Bob Kurland
Müllerhaus Legacy Website Team
Date Created: January 27, 2011
Date Published: January 18, 2014
Notes: Recorded by John Erling in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Digital Audio Sound Recording, Non-Music.
Tags: George Mikan, Henry Iba, Happy Chandler, Saturday Evening Post, Minneapolis Lakers, Phog Allen, Oklahoma State University (OSU), Phillips Petroleum, Red Cross, Conoco, Boots Adams, Frank Phillips, Caterpillar, Clyde Lovellette, Bud Wilkinson, Basketball