Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Roughing It

 

November 9, 2017



Beloved basketball player, “inventor of the Jump Shot”, coach and great hardworking man, was honored last Friday night at the Arena-Auditorium on the University of Wyoming campus in Laramie.

Kenny Sailors was actually born in Bushnell, on Jan. 14, 1921. I have tried all my sources to find out where about it Bushnell, but no luck.

Anyway, Sailors grew up on a farm near Hillsdale, Wyo., where he began shooting the “Jump Shot” while playing with his older and much taller brother. This is where the “inventor of the Jump Shot” came into play. Back in this time, it wasn’t the normal shot that was attempted during games or practice.

Sailors played high school ball in Laramie, then went on to play for the University of Wyoming in 1939.

With these just being a very short list of his achievements,Sailors has, of course, been inducted into the University of Wyoming Athletics Hall of Fame, as well as, the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.

I remember Kenny always being at the games to cheer on his Pokes, always such a friendly old man. I also recall he would say hello to about anyone, at any time.

In 2014 the University announced the plans to create a specially-commissioned sculpture of Sailors, and it would be outside the “Double A”, the Wyoming basketball stadium.

Well, as of Friday, Nov. 3rd, the 18-foot statue of the great Kenny Sailors was unveiled as part of the grand re-opening of the Arena-Auditorium.

Sailors did not make it to see the finished product of such an amazing salute to the Laramie, Wyoming, basketball legend. Sailors passed away on Jan. 30, 2016, just a few days following his 95th birthday.

A man that is missed in the basketball community very much so, but such a great reminder of him to be able to enjoy at all the Cowboy and Cowgirl home games.

 

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