Celebrating The Remarkable Life of Kenny Sailors
Kenny Sailors was the Michael Jordan of Wyoming. Among the greatest athletes in the history of the Cowboy State, he was a pioneer for one of America's most popular sports.
Early this morning, the inventor of the "jump shot" passed away in Laramie at the age of 95.
Sailors was raised on a farm outside of Hillsdale, Wyoming. Standing only 5'10" tall, he developed the jump shot playing against his older, and taller, brother Bud, who eventually grew to be 6'4".
In 1943, he led to the University of Wyoming to the only NCAA Men's Basketball Championship in school history (The 1934 team was voted National Champions prior to the formation of the NCAA tournament). Sailors was a two-time College Basketball Player of the Year and was named a first team All-American three times during his collegiate career.
After graduating in 1946, Sailors began a professional career, playing for the Philadelphia Warriors, Denver Nuggets, Boston Celtics and Baltimore Bullets.
He was inducted into the University of Wyoming Athletics Hall of Fame in 1993. Nine years later, Sailors was enshrined in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.
Although the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has officially credited Sailors as the creator of the jump shot, for some reason, he has yet to be officially inducted.
However, there is a movement among many basketball historians, including coaching legend Bob Knight and television analyst Jay Bilas, encouraging the hall to finally enshrine Sailors.