Robert A. "Bob" Kurland

A devastating force at 6-foot-10, Bob Kurland towered over opponents. Known as "Foothills," Kurland was the first player in history to win two Olympic gold medals. In 1944, his ability to block and alter shots changed the way basketball was played. Kurland starred on two Oklahoma A&M national championship teams under Hall of Fame coach Hank Iba and was the first two-time Most Outstanding Player in 1945 and 1946. After winning the NCAA title in 1945, Oklahoma A&M played NIT champion DePaul in a Red Cross benefit game. Kurland, matched against the game's other giant George Mikan, contributed to a 52-44 victory that meant an undisputed national championship. Kurland was named All-America three years in a row and won the 1946 Helms Foundation award as the nation's outstanding player. After pondering a pro career, Kurland joined the AAU's Phillips 66 Oilers in the 1946-47 season. During six All-America seasons with Phillips, Kurland's dominating play brought three national championships to the team.