A Tribute to Basketball Great Clyde Lovellette

  Clyde Lovellette Cardinal Publishers Group was greatly saddened by the news of the death of basketball great Clyde Lovellette at the age of 86. Before his passing, his story was captured in the pages of his book, The Story of Basketball Great Clyde Lovellette, Blue River Press 2015. Cardinal Publishers Group Sales and Marketing Manager, Thomas McLean said of Clyde. “He was a great storyteller. He spoke very highly of the University of Kansas, Terre Haute and the NBA.” The following a small peek into Clyde’s story. One of basketball’s all-time greats at every level of the game, Clyde Lovellette grew up in difficult circumstances in Terre Haute, Indiana to become the first player in history to win an NCAA title, an Olympic gold medal, and an NBA championship. A star at every level of the sport, Clyde has been selected into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, the College Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City, the Kansas University Hall of Fame, the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, and the Helms Foundation Hall of Fame. In high school, Clyde was twice named All-State in Indiana. After high school, he was the object of one of the first high-profile recruiting battles in college basketball history. He was persuaded to enroll at Kansas University to play legendary coach Phog Allen. With the Jayhawks, Clyde led the Big Seven Conference three times in scoring and led them to the 1952 NCAA title. He led the U.S. Olympic squad in scoring to help win the 1952 Gold Medal in Helsinki, Finland. He followed up his Olympic triumph by joining the Minneapolis Lakers. Those Lakers represented the first professional dynasty, and Clyde earned the first of his three championship rings as a Laker. He had success with the Cincinnati Royals for one year, the Western Division powerhouse St. Louis Hawks for six years, and finished his career playing two years for the Boston Celtics and earning two more championship rings. In the decades following his retirement Clyde had led an interesting and varied life. He was elected sheriff of his hometown county in Indiana; he spent various periods as a city councilman, coached high school basketball on Cape Cod, and advised and taught at-risk youth at the White’s Institute in Wabash, Indiana. Clyde Lovellette was an All-Star basketball player at every level of the game and is a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, the College Basketball Hall of Fame, the Indiana High School Basketball Hall of Fame, the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, and the Kansas University Athletic Hall of Fame. Lovellette was an NCAA champion, an NBA champion and won an Olympic gold medal. The book, The Story of Basketball Great Clyde Lovellette was written by Clyde Lovellette along with veteran newspaper sportswriter and author of dozens of book about sports, Lew Freedman. When Lew was a youth he followed Clyde Lovellette’s career with the St. Louis Hawks and Boston Celtics. Lew offered these comments: As someone who got to know Clyde Lovellette personally over the last few years after being aware of his basketball achievements for most of my life, I was very saddened to learn about his passing after a year-long illness.  In the basketball world, Clyde was a winner everywhere he went, in high school in Terre Haute, Indiana, as an NCAA champion at Kansas University, as a member of a United States gold-medal-winning Olympic team, and on three NBA champions.  Clyde Lovellette is the answer to a terrific basketball trivia question. Who is the only college player to lead the country in scoring and win an NCAA championship in the same year? Clyde did that with Kansas in 1952.  

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Phog Was a Great Coach

The following is an excerpt from the new book, The Story of Basketball Great Clyde Lovellette written by Clyde Lovellette and Lew Freedman, Blue River Press, 2015 Phog Allen was like a father to me. I couldn’t say I knew that would be the case when he was recruiting me from Indiana. I have two books on the shelf that he wrote. I’m not sure how much people remember them. It’s like everything else. Once you are in an era and its popular you think it will last forever. Then other people come along who are better known or who are more popular. But guys like Phog Allen are the ones who built the college game into what it is now. It had to start somewhere and they were the pioneers. There was Naismith and Allen and Hank Iba at Oklahoma A&M, and others, but Phog was a great coach in that man’s time. It’s easy to forget the older guys who started it all. Now coaches are on TV and radio all of the time, but I think Phog Allen was the first great coaching psychologist. He molded players together by their strengths. He had guys there at Kansas from wealthy families, guys from the middle class, guys like me that couldn’t have afforded to go to college without a scholarship. Anything that had to be discussed from a personal standpoint, about life, about the game, that was Phog. He was not at all standoffish. His door was always open. He was open with us not only on the court, but in his office and at his house. The Story of Basketball Great, Clyde Lovellette Get your copy of The Story of Basketball Great Clyde Lovellette by Clyde Lovellette and Lew Freedman and read more about the man who was a star at every level of the sport. Preface by Bill Lienhard Foreword by Bob Leonard Brought to you by CPG News & Information

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Over Time

If you are in Littleton, Colorado this Saturday, September 19th stop in the Costco located at, Southwest Denver 7900 W Quincy Ave., Littleton, CO 80123-1350 and meet Denver Christian's beloved and famed basketball coach Dick Katte along with co-author of the book Over Time: Coach Katte on Basketball and Life, Mark Wolf. They will be there from 1:00 - 3:00 pm and would love to chat with you and sign your copy of the book. Enjoy the following article by Mark Wolf as he tells you how he came to put this amazing story together... Coach Dick Katte's secret is simple and straightforward. I’m pretty sure I had a mouthful of English muffin when I came up with the idea to write a book about Dick Katte. I was eating breakfast and reading The Denver Post on a February morning in 2012 when I saw a story that Dick was going to retire at the end of the season as the state’s winningest basketball coach. I sketched an outline of the project, attended Denver Christian’s next game and handed him a copy. He was initially underwhelmed at the notion, but finally agreed to let me hang around during the final week of his career, when his team capped an undefeated season with a thrilling victory in the state championship game. That led to long interview sessions on his patio and around his kitchen table during which we talked about, among other things, basketball, life, his faith and the aneurysm that nearly killed him. I spent a day in his hometown of Sheboygan, Wisc., interviewed many of his players, friends and fellow coaches, reporters who covered him and his teams and pored over hundreds of newspaper stories involving Denver Christian, many in the pages of season-by-season scrapbooks assembled by Dick’s wife – and most important assistant coach – Lorraine. The book was conceived as a third-person biography of Dick but one afternoon during a long writing session at the Columbine library, I was transcribing some notes and decided that, except for the first reported chapter on that final week, the book had to be in first person. At that moment, the manuscript came alive. Telling the story in Dick’s voice gave the book a sense of authenticity that would have been impossible to capture in third-person. After spending a year working with Dick I came to understand what it must have been like to play for him. His players told me about his insistence on detail and I became accustomed to getting printouts of chapters heavily edited by Dick in pencil. I learned a lot about basketball in the course of writing this book, but I learned even more about the importance of living an honorable life. Mark Wolf is co-author with Dick Katte of “Over Time: Coach Katte on Basketball and Life.” He is a longtime journalist and is now a public policy editor at the National Conference of State Legislatures.  

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