Wes Unseld, one of the top players in the history of the Louisville men's basketball program, has passed. He was 74.
Unseld died on Tuesday morning after a series of health issues, most recently with pneumonia according to his family.
"It is with profound sadness that we share that our adored husband, father and grandfather Wes Unseld passed away peacefully this morning surrounded by family," his family said in a statement shared by the Washington Wizards.
A Louisville native, he led Seneca High School to two state championships in 1963 & 1964, being named Kentucky's Mr. Basketball in the latter year.
In his three years as a Louisville Cardinal, he averaged 20.6 points and 18.9 rebounds per game, both of which are school records. His 1,551 career rebounds rank second in school history, with his 1,686 career points coming in at eleventh. He still holds the UofL single-game point record, scoring 45 points against Georgetown.
A consensus All-American in 1967 & 1968, he is one of just four players in program history to have his jersey number retired (Charlie Tyra, Darrell Griffith, Pervis Ellison).
He went on to be drafted No. 2 overall by the then-Baltimore Bullets in 1968, where he would spend his entire 13 year career.
Despite his 6-foot-7 and 245 stature, the center went on to have a dominating career in the NBA.
He was Rookie of the Year and NBA MVP in the same season, averaging 13.8 points and 18.2 rebounds per game in the 1968-69 season.
Nearly a decade later, he helped Washington win the 1978 championship against the Seattle SuperSonics, the only title in franchise history. He also named Finals MVP of the series.
He was inducted into Hall of Fame in 1988, and recently had been named the No. 50 player in NBA history by ESPN.
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