25 Facts About Wes Unseld


Wes Unseld was named the NBA Most Valuable Player and NBA Rookie of the Year during his rookie season and joined Wilt Chamberlain as the only two players in NBA history to accomplish the feat.


Wes Unseld won an NBA championship with the Bullets in 1978, and the Finals MVP award to go with it.


Wes Unseld was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988 and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.


Wes Unseld was born in Louisville, Kentucky, to Charles and Cornelia Wes Unseld as one of nine children.


Wes Unseld's father was a prizefighter, construction worker, oilman, and baseball player for the Indianapolis Clowns.


Wes Unseld starred for the Seneca High School team that won Kentucky state championships in 1963 and 1964.


Wes Unseld was recruited by over 100 colleges, and became the first African-American athlete to be offered an athletic scholarship to the University of Kentucky in Lexington.


Integration leaders in Louisville tried to persuade Wes Unseld to attend the University of Kentucky and stated that "it would be good for Kentucky and the Southeastern Conference," but Wes Unseld opted to stay in town and attend the University of Louisville, which was racially integrated.


Wes Unseld played center for the school's freshman team and averaged 35.8 points and 23.6 rebounds over 14 games.


Wes Unseld lettered for Louisville as a sophomore, junior, and senior, scored 1,686 points and grabbed 1,551 rebounds over 82 games.


Wes Unseld led the Missouri Valley Conference in rebounding all three years.


Wes Unseld was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.


Wes Unseld was selected as the second overall pick by the Baltimore Bullets in the 1968 NBA draft.


Wes Unseld was selected by his hometown Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association in the 1968 ABA draft.


Wes Unseld was offered contracts by both teams but opted to sign with the Bullets of the more successful NBA despite them allegedly offering less money.


Wes Unseld averaged 18.2 rebounds per game that year, and joined fellow future Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain to become the second player ever to win the Rookie of the Year Award and the Most Valuable Player Award in the same year.


Wes Unseld was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team, and claimed the Sporting News MVP that year.


Wes Unseld ended his playing career in March 1981, and his No 41 jersey was retired by the Bullets shortly thereafter.


Wes Unseld averaged 3.9 assists, excellent for a center, in the 36 minutes he played per game.


Wes Unseld was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988, and in 1996, he was named as one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players of all time.


Wes Unseld became the Bullets' general manager in 1996 and served in that role for seven years.


Wes Unseld guided the team to the playoffs once during his tenure as general manager.


Wes Unseld worked as an office manager and head basketball coach.


Wes Unseld was the godfather of Cleveland Cavaliers all-star forward, Kevin Love, as Kevin's father Stan Love was a teammate of Unseld's on the Baltimore Bullets.


Wes Unseld died on June 2,2020, after suffering lengthy health battles.