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Olympic medal record
Men's Basketball
Gold 1948 London Team competition
Gold 1952 Helsinki Team competition
Kurland in 1944 or 1945

Robert Albert "Bob" Kurland (born December 23, 1924 in St. Louis, Missouri) was a 7-foot basketball center, who played for Henry Iba's Oklahoma A & M Aggies (now Oklahoma State Cowboys) basketball team. He was an integral part of the team's consecutive NCAA titles in 1945 and 1946.

Because Kurland often leaped above the rim to grab opponents' shots, the NCAA banned defensive goaltending in 1945.[1] Kurland was also the first person to regularly dunk during games.[2] The rivalry between him and De Paul's George Mikan would foreshadow similar matchups, especially those of "Big Men".

Kurland never played professional basketball, passing up the newly formed Basketball Association of America and National Basketball League (which would merge, forming the National Basketball Association), to play for Phillips Petroleum's A.A.U. team, the 66 Oilers. Kurland played for six years with Phillips, winning three championships. Since he never played professionally, he was eligible as an amateur for the 1948 and 1952 Olympics.

Kurland was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1961.

He became an insurance salesman (actually worked for Phillips Petroleum) after his basketball days.


NCAA, NCAA March Madness: Cinderellas, Superstars, and Champions from the NCAA Men's Final Four : Chicago: Triumph Books, 2004. ISBN 1-57243-665-4

Preceded by
Arnie Ferrin
NCAA Basketball Tournament
Most Outstanding Player

Succeeded by
George Kaftan


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