By NewsPress Staff
STILLWATER, Okla. —
The most celebrated player in Oklahoma State University basketball history died Sunday morning in his sleep, his family confirmed Monday.
Robert A. “Bob” Kurland was one of the first seven footers in college basketball history. He is one of three former representatives from Oklahoma State (Oklahoma A&M) in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The others are Don Haskins and Henry Iba.
He is one of four OSU representatives in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. The others are Haskins, Iba and Eddie Sutton.
Kurland was a consensus first-team All-American for OSU in 1944, 1945 and 1946. He led the then-Aggies to back-to-back national championships in 1945 and 1945. He was selected as the outstanding player in the NCAA tournament in both years.
"We are deeply saddened by the passing of one of the greatest college basketball players to ever play the game," said OSU head coach Travis Ford. "Bob Kurland was instrumental in putting Oklahoma State on the college basketball map, and was someone who greatly affected this university and the Cowboy basketball program, an impact that is still felt today. Our condolences go out to his family, friends and former teammates."
Kurland died in his sleep Sunday morning at his home in south Florida after a long illness. He was 88 years old. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Barbara, four children and seven grandchildren.
Services are pending.