Former Indiana high school standout and NBA pioneer Clyde Lovellette dies

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Clyde Lovellette

NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. (March 10, 2016)–One of the state’s first highly acclaimed basketball players, Clyde Lovellette, has died at the age of 86.

Lovellette attended Terre Haute Garfield High School and helped lead that squad to an undefeated season heading into the 1947 State Championship game against Shelbyville.

Lovellette continued his basketball career at  Kansas where he helped put the Jayhawks in the NCAA title game in 1952.  Lovellette then landed a spot on the USA basketball team in the 1952 Olympics and helped the USA team win the gold medal in the Helsinki Olympics. He was drafted in the first round by the  Minneapolis Lakers of the NBA ,where he played a season with George Mikan,  one of basketball’s first dominant big men. Despite Mikan retiring, Lovellette and the Lakers ended up winning the first of three NBA titles with him on the team.

The 1952 season became a historic one for Lovellette  as he became the first player to win championships in the NCAA, Olympics and NBA.

During his 11 NBA seasons, Lovellette averaged 17 points and nine rebounds a game, was a four-time NBA All Star. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 1988. He was also named the fourth-best Indiana All-Star by the IndyStar in 2013, behind Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird and George McGinnis.

Lovellette retired from basketball in 1964 and was later elected sheriff of Vigo County.