During the 1956-57 season, Hot Rod Hundley played in front of packed crowds at the Old Field House in Morgantown. He averaged 23 points and 10 rebounds per game en route to becoming just the fourth player in NCAA history to record 2,000 points — and he did it in only three seasons.
That season, he was named as a First-Team All-American, joining Gary Thompson, Chet Forte, Len Rosenbluth and a guy named Wilt Chamberlain.
Following that season, he went on to become the #1 overall pick in the NBA Draft. He is the only Mountaineer basketball player to hold that distinction. In 1960, he joined forces with fellow Mountaineer, Jerry West. Hundley played for only six seasons and retired in 1963 due to bad knees.
Where Hundley made his name was in the broadcast booth. After retiring, he did play-by-play for the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers before becoming the voice of the expansion New Orléans Jazz in 1974. He retired from broadcasting in 2009.
Sadly, in January of this year, it was announced that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.
This past weekend, he was honored during the Class AAA Championship Game at the Charleston Civic Center. He grew up near downtown Charleston.
The newspaper clipping you see in this article was taken from a meticulously kept photo album given to me by one of Hundley’s childhood friends. These album’s are a treasure trove of WVU history, and I will feature something different every Thursday.
You can purchase Hundley’s autobiography in our brand new WVUPros Shop.