James C. "Jim" Pollard

Jim Pollard, a smooth shooter whose game was graced with finesse and class, possessed a deadly jump shot that was nearly perfect from the corner. Nicknamed "The Kangaroo Kid" because of his extraordinary leaping ability, it was reported that he could touch the top of the backboard and dunk from the foul line, predating today's athletic players. The 6-foot-5-inch Pollard starred for Hall of Fame coach Everett Dean at Stanford University in a career interrupted by military service. At Stanford, and later in the pros, he was known as a player's player because he was a great teammate and winning the game was always more important than scoring. After World War II, Pollard was named AAU All-America twice before joining the Minneapolis Lakers. An integral member of six championship Lakers teams in three different professional leagues, Pollard, a 13.1 point per game scorer, teamed with Hall of Famers George Mikan, and Vern Mikkelsen to form one of the NBA's best frontcourts. In 1952, Pollard was named the best player of the era by the Basketball Association of America.