BY COLIN “BIG C” MACGUIRE
The Greenville Standard
When you read this article The Big 12-SEC Basketball Shoot Out will be over.
The most interesting matchup will be Kansas and Kentucky. Both programs have great traditions and bluebloods.
There is a connection of the two schools. The connection is Adolph Rupp.
Nicknamed the Baron, he was born in Kansas in 1901. Rupp entered Kansas University in 1919.
His Coach was Phog Allen. Coach Allen’s coach was James Naismith who invented the sport.
Rupp played from 1919-1923. Naismith was Allen’s Assistant when Rupp played.
At Kansas, his junior and senior year they were named National Champions by The Helms Foundation.
Rupp coached high school basketball in Kansas and Iowa. Rupp had a player being recruited by Illinois in 1930.
The Illinois coach mentioned to Rupp the Kentucky job was open. Rupp was hired as coach.
Rupp coached from 1930-72 and had four national championships, 28 SEC Championships during those years.
He was forced into retirement, because 70 years old was the mandatory age for retirement for state employees at the time. Coach Rupp died on Dec. 10, 1977.