Alex John Groza

Alex John Groza

Birth
Martins Ferry, Belmont County, Ohio, USA
Death 21 Jan 1995 (aged 68)
San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA
Burial San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA
Plot CBA, 2, 430
Memorial ID 729110 · View Source
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Professional Basketball Player, Olympic Games Gold Medalist Athlete. A three-time All-American standout center for the University of Kentucky, he had an outstanding collegiate basketball career, anchoring the Wildcats teams that won back-to-back NCAA Championships in 1948 and 1949, being named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player both years. In-between the two college championships he was named to the United States Olympic Basketball team that competed in the 1948 Summer Olympic Games in London, England. Joined by his fellow Kentucky Wildcat starters Ralph Beard, Wallace 'Wah Wah' Jones, Cliff Barker and Kenny Rollins, he helped the American team go undefeated in the tournament, which culminated in the United States defeating the French team 65 to 21 in the Gold Medal Game. Alex Groza was the leading scorer for the Americans in the games. After his graduation from college he was drafted by the Indianapolis Olympians of the National Basketball Association, and he averages 23 points a game in his first season, and 21 points a game in his second season, as he was named an NBA All-Star in 1951 and to the NBA First-team both seasons. However, after the 1951 season he was implicated in the CCNY point shaving scandal, being one of over thirty players who were accused of taking bribes while in college to shave points off of games he played in to benefit gamblers. His professional career ended when he was banned for life from the NBA for his part in the scandal. He eventually turned to coaching, and led Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky to a Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title. In 1966 he joined the American Basketball Association, and would go to serve as head coach for the Louisville Colonels for two games in the 1970 season. From 1972 to 1974 he was associated with he San Diego Conquistadors of the ABA, serving as general manager, as head coach for thirty-eight games. His last employment in basketball was as director of player development for the ABA's San Diego Sails in 1975. Nicknamed "The Beak", he passed away in San Diego, California in 1995 at age sixty-eight. His older brother, Lou Groza, would become a Hall of Fame Professional Football football placekicker and offensive tackle. His uniform number 15 was retired by the University of Kentucky.

Bio by: Russ Dodge


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: US Veterans Affairs Office
  • Added: 25 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 729110
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Alex John Groza (7 Oct 1926–21 Jan 1995), Find A Grave Memorial no. 729110, citing Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .