Legendary Oklahoma A&M Aggie Bob Kurland Dies

Bob Kurland

Bob Kurland, one of the greatest players in the history of Oklahoma State basketball, passed away Sunday morning at his home in south Florida. He was 88.

Kurland, one of the first 7-footers in the history of college basketball, led the Oklahoma A&M Aggies to the school's only two national basketball titles. He was a standout on the 1945 and 1946 national title teams coached by Henry Iba.

Kurland was a three-time All-American and was named the Outstanding Player at the NCAA tournament in both 1945 and 1946, and is one of only five players in Division I history who can claim that accomplishment.

He also played for the United States in the 1948 and 1952 OIympic Games, helping the American team win gold medals.

Kurland is one of three former representatives from Oklahoma State (Oklahoma A&M) in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (Kurland, Don Haskins, Henry Iba) and one of four in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame (Kurland, Haskins, Iba, Eddie Sutton).

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of one of the greatest college basketball players to ever play the game," said OSU head coach Travis Ford. "Bob Kurland was instrumental in putting Oklahoma State on the college basketball map, and was someone who greatly affected this University and the Cowboy Basketball program, an impact that is still felt today. Our condolences go out to his family, friends and former teammates."

As a freshman, Kurland developed goal-tending to a degree that none had been able to do up until that time, although Mr. Iba disliked the maneuver and seldom allowed Kurland to practice it. He was instrumental in the rule against goal-tending due to his ability to grab opposing shots from mid-air before they reached the rim.

Kurland is survived by his wife of 62 years, Barbara, four children and seven grandchildren.

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