Bob Kurland, Oklahoma Olympian: Basketball star led Team USA to gold in 1948 and 1952 Olympics

TULSA - Oklahoma Olympians is a series about athletes who were born here, lived here or went to school here.

Bob Kurland was one of the first "big men" of basketball.  

Almost 7 feet tall, he introduced the nation to the "slam dunk." He also led Oklahoma A&M, now Oklahoma State, to NCAA national championships in 1945 and 1946.

He decided against going pro after college and we went to work for Phillips Petroleum in Bartlesville.

but he still played amateur ball joining the u.s. olympic team.

he led the team to gold medals in london in 1948 and in helsinki in 1952.

he stayed at phillips in bartelsville until he retired in the mid-80s.

he died just last september at the age of 88.

The Sochi Olympic Games begin Feb. 6. Find out more in our special section on

Print this article Back to Top