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West Virginia legend Hot Rod Hundley passes away

Former West Virginia basketball legend “Hot Rod” Hundley has passed away on Friday at the age of 80. Hundley was born in Charleston, W.Va. in 1934.

He was a star at the old Thomas Jefferson Junior High and Charleston High Schools, where he won championships at both.

Hundley went on to play at West Virginia from 1954-57. In just three seasons he averaged 24.5 points and 10.6 rebounds. His 2,180 career points were second only to another great, Jerry West’s 2,309 points.



During the former All-American’s tenure, the Mountaineers went 72-16, won three Southern Conference titles and made three NCAA tournament appearances.

In 1957, Hundley was named to five All-American teams and was the first player taken in the NBA draft.  He was drafted and played with the Minneapolis/ Los Angeles Lakers.

Hundley retired after just six seasons at the age of 28 and went on to have a 40-plus-year career in the broadcast booth for the Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans (and Utah) Jazz.

In 1994, he won the NBA’s Distinguished Broadcaster Award. Hundley was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame as a broadcaster.

The Mountaineers retired his jersey number 33 on Jan. 23, 2010 before the Ohio State game.

After the halftime ceremony, Hundley grabbed a basketball and made a hook shot to a standing ovation. At the time West Virginia was down 12 and went on to win by six.

Both Mountaineer Nation and the sports world have lost a wonderful person and a true legend.

Shanna Rose
WVU Graduate with a bachelor's in journalism and multimedia journalist. Sports Fan and sports writer. Former WVU News reporter. Contact Shanna on Twitter @SMR1837
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