Robert F. "Bob" Gruenig

Considered one of the game’s first great big men, Robert Gruenig could score and rebound and altered games just by his presence. Although he never played a minute of college ball, “Ace” was one of basketball’s first great big men and became a star playing in the Amateur Athletic Union. At 6-foot-8, Gruenig possessed a devastating hook shot that frustrated many players. He shot that hook shot with either hand from as far out as 12 feet on the floor. He was mobile and often chased down long rebounds 15 feet or more from the basket. A First Team AAU All-America ten times, he led the Denver Safeway (1937), Denver Nuggets (1939), and Denver American Legion (1942) teams to AAU national championships. In 1948, at the age of 35, the elder statesman scored 104 points in five AAU tournament games. He came out of retirement to play one season for the Denver Nuggets in the National Basketball League and still ranked in the top ten in scoring.