Wes Unseld: Louisville legend remarkably strong, singularly unselfish in basketball and life


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Wes Unseld’s strength was the stuff of legends.

He could go up for a rebound, twist his body in midair and fling a two-handed pass the length of a basketball court before his feet returned to the floor.

“The ball in his hands was like a softball,” Bellarmine University coach Scott Davenport said Tuesday. “The legend was that he could rebound the ball, turn in the air and hit the other backboard from 94 feet away.

“I didn’t believe it. (But) I witnessed it with my own eyes. When he hit it, it sounded like an explosion.”

When Unseld died Tuesday at age 74, the Hall of Fame center who rose to prominence at Louisville’s Seneca High School and the University of Louisville was remembered as one of basketball’s most rugged rebounders and the source of its most lethal outlet passes; comparatively short by the standards of his position, but as solid and as steadfast as an oak.

“He was like a big roadblock on the basketball court,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said on the “Rich Eisen Show” on Tuesday. “He was only like 6-7, 6-8, but you still couldn’t get rebounds over him because he just denied (position) on the court. He was awesome in…

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