Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Throwback Thursday: Olympic Edition

August 11th, 2016

Each week we’ll be posting a photograph from University Archives that shows a scene from KU’s past. We’ve also scanned more than 28,000 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

Men’s basketball is underway at the 2016 Summer Olympics, so this week we’re sharing photographs of the U.S. men’s basketball team that played in the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland. Team USA consisted of fourteen members: seven players from KU’s 1952 championship squad plus five members of the Amateur Athletic Union‘s Peoria (Illinois) Caterpillar-Diesels and two members of the Phillips 66ers. KU head coach Phog Allen was an assistant coach for the Olympic team.

Photograph of "Welcome NCAA Champs - On to Helsinki" banner, 1952

Olympic banner stretched across Massachusetts Street at Seventh, 1952.
This view is looking south; the Eldridge Hotel is on the right.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 66/13 Team Olympic 1951/1952:
Athletic Department: Basketball (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Photograph of the USA Men's Olympic team, 1952

Members of the U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team, 1952.
Assistant coach Phog Allen is standing on the far left.
The seven KU players are kneeling in the front row; from left to right they are
Dean Kelley, Charlie Hoag, John Keller, Bob Kenney, Bill Hougland,
Bill Lienhard, and Clyde Lovellette. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 66/13 Team Olympic 1951/1952: Athletic Department: Basketball (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Photograph of the USA Men's Olympic team on podium, 1952

The 1952 U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team won the gold medal, defeating the USSR
(also known as the CCCP) 36-25. Uruguay won the bronze. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 66/13 Team Olympic 1951/1952: Athletic Department: Basketball (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

The Crimson and Blue Handbook describes KU’s road to the Olympics.

[Phog] Allen had recruited his 1951-1952 team members with the promise that they would be the squad to represent the United States in the ’52 Olympics…

[After winning the national championship in 1952], KU went back to Kansas City to face the Springfield Missouri State Teachers [1952 NAIA champion; now Missouri State University] in the first round of the Olympic playoffs. The Jayhawks won 92-65, establishing a new single-game scoring record. The NIT champion, LaSalle, was next, and KU won 70-65 in the semifinals at Madison Square Garden as [Clyde] Lovellette scored 40 points.

The win over LaSalle had assured the Jayhawks of placing seven players on the Olympic squad, and KU met the AAU champion Peoria Caterpiller-Diesels in the Olympic finals to determine who would coach the team in Helsinki. Peoria won in the final eight seconds when Howie Williams, a former Purdue guard, hit a short jumper to break a 60-60 tie. Peoria coach Warren Womble was named the Olympic coach, and Phog Allen was named an assistant.

Allen had kept his promise.

Learn more about the Jayhawks who were members of the 1952 Olympic basketball team and other KU basketball players and coaches who have been involved with U.S. Olympic teams.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Melissa Kleinschmidt, Megan Sims, and Abbey Ulrich
Public Services Student Assistants

Throwback Thursday: Ice Cream Edition

July 16th, 2015

Each week we’ll be posting a photograph from University Archives that shows a scene from KU’s past. We’ve also scanned more than 5,700 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

Today’s photo combines two things we love at Spencer Research Library: ice cream and KU basketball. This week, especially, we’re celebrating the Jayhawks’ gold medal at the World University Games (as Team USA) and National Ice Cream Day, which is Sunday.

Photograph of Clyde Lovellette stands in front of a Dairy Queen eating an ice cream cone, 1952

KU Hall of Fame basketball player Clyde Lovellette in front of a Dairy Queen
eating an ice cream cone, 1952. University Archives Photos. Call Number:
RG 66/13 Clyde Lovellette: Athletic Department: Basketball: Players (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Melissa Kleinschmidt, Megan Sims, and Abbey Ulrich
Public Services Student Assistants