December 23, 1924|
St. Louis, Missouri
|Died||September 29, 2013
Sanibel Island, Florida
|Listed height||7 ft 0 in (213 cm)|
|Listed weight||220 lb (100 kg)|
|High school||Jennings (Jennings, Missouri)|
|College||Oklahoma State (1942–1946)|
|Pro playing career||1946–1952|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Basketball Hall of Fame as player|
|College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006
Robert Albert "Bob" Kurland (December 23, 1924 – September 29, 2013) was a 7 feet (2.1 m) American basketball center, who played for Henry Iba's Oklahoma A&M Aggies (now Oklahoma State Cowboys) basketball team.
Kurland was an integral part of the team's consecutive NCAA titles in 1945 and 1946, and was named the NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player both times.1 In the 1945-46 season, he led the league in scoring and Kurland was voted Helms Foundation College Basketball Player of the Year.1
Because Kurland often leaped above the rim to grab opponents' shots, the NCAA banned defensive goaltending in 1945.2 Kurland was also the first person to regularly dunk during games.3 The rivalry between him and De Paul's George Mikan would foreshadow similar matchups, especially those of "Big Men".
Kurland never played professional basketball, passing up the newly formed Basketball Association of America and National Basketball League (which would merge, forming the National Basketball Association), to play for Phillips Petroleum's A.A.U. team, the 66 Oilers. Kurland played for six years with Phillips, winning three championships. Since he never played professionally, he was eligible as an amateur for the 1948 and 1952 Olympics.
He became a salesman for Phillips Petroleum Company where he played AAU basketball and went on to complete his business career as a senior marketing executive.citation needed
He died at his Florida home in September 2013. He was 88.1
- Goldstein, Richard (September 30, 2013), "Bob Kurland, 88, Pioneer for Basketball’s Big Men, Dies", The New York Times
- HickokSports.com - Biography - Bob Kurland
- Jackie, Krentzman (February 12, 1996). "Jam boree - basketball's dunk shot; includes related articles". The Sporting News.dead link
NCAA, NCAA March Madness: Cinderellas, Superstars, and Champions from the NCAA Men's Final Four : Chicago: Triumph Books, 2004. ISBN 1-57243-665-4
- National Polish-American Sports HOF profile
- Voices of Oklahoma interview with Bob Kurland. First person interview conducted on January 27, 2011 with Bob Kurland. Original audio and transcript archived with Voices of Oklahoma oral history project.