Clyde Edward Lovellette (born September 7, 1929) is a retired professional basketball player. He is the first basketball player in history to play on an NCAA championship team, Olympics gold medal basketball team, and NBA championship squad. As a high school junior, Lovellette's previously undefeated high school team in Terre Haute, Indiana fell one game short of winning the Indiana state championship.
Lovellette fostered the trend of tall, physical and high-scoring centers. A two-time All-State performer at Garfield High School in Terre Haute, Indiana, the six-foot-nine Lovellette later attended the University of Kansas where he became a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. While at the University of Kansas he led Jayhawks to the 1952 NCAA title, capturing MVP honors and scoring a then-NCAA-record 141 points. A three-time All-American at Kansas, Clyde led the Big Seven in scoring in each of his three seasons. Playing for Basketball Hall of Fame coach Forrest "Phog" Allen, Lovellette led the nation in scoring his senior year (1952, 28.4 ppg) and was named the Helms College Player of the Year. Lovellette and basketball legend Dean Smith were teammates at Kansas. He is still the only college player to lead the nation in scoring and win the NCAA title in the same year. Lovellette's dominance in the paint landed him a place on the 1952 Summer Olympics gold medal team in Helsinki, Finland and he was the team's dominating player and leading scorer.
At the pro level, Clyde became one of the first big men to move outside and utilize the one-handed set shot that extended his shooting range and offensive repertoire. This tactic enabled him to play either the small forward, power forward or center positions, forcing the opposition's big man to play out of position. In 704 NBA games with the Minneapolis Lakers, Cincinnati Royals, St. Louis Hawks and Boston Celtics, Lovellette scored 11,947 points (17.0 ppg) and grabbed 6,663 rebounds (9.3 rpg). Selected to play in three NBA All-Star Games, Lovellette was an integral component of championships in Minneapolis (1954) and Boston (1963, 1964).
Lovellette is one of only seven players in history to achieve basketball's "Triple Crown" - winning an NCAA Championship, an NBA Championship, and an Olympic Gold Medal, anf or all of his accolades, Lovellette was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982, and into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988. He is also featured in the '50s All-Star roster on NBA Live 2007.
After retiring he participated in a variety of activities including serving as Sheriff in his hometown, farming, business activities, and then found a position at Whites Residential Services, a faith-based school in Wabash County, IN for at-risk teenagers where he served for 20 years and was successful in providing a positive influence on their lives. He resided at one time in the small town of Munising in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where he served as the Varsity Basketball Assistant Coach and on the city council. He currently lives in the small Indiana town of North Manchester, home of Manchester University where he is frequently seen as a spectator at MU basketball games.
By Dean Hanley
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