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College Basketball - February 21, 2014

Q: The UCLA Bruins won the first of 10 national basketball championships in 1964, with the help of a player from Topeka. What’s his name?

ucla-team-photo-1964The UCLA Bruins basketball team won the 1964 championship game against Duke. Topeka native Fred Slaughter wears the 35 jersey. (Photo via UCLA Athletics)


A: Fred Slaughter


ucla-fred-slaughter-1964Topeka native Fred Slaughter played for UCLA's 1964 championship team. (Photo via UCLA Athletics)

Topeka native Fred Slaughter played basketball for UCLA and helped the Bruins win their first national championship in 1964. Later on, he became a sports agent, one of the earliest African Americans to do so. Slaughter grew up in the capital city of Kansas and attended Topeka High School, where he was the leading scorer on the basketball team. He was also a champion sprinter. Heavily recruited by universities, he received numerous athletic scholarship offers. But he wanted to attend UCLA and wrote a letter to the Bruins’ head coach, John Wooden, asking to join his team. The school offered him a scholarship split between track and basketball. At UCLA, Slaughter helped Wooden win the first of his 10 national basketball championships. Slaughter earned an MBA and a law degree before becoming a sports agent.


Not So Fun Factoid: Kansas State University made it to the Final Four in 1964! Many thought the Wildcats were well poised to take it all that year before losing to Fred Slaughter and the UCLA Bruins. :-(


Special thanks to all-time Kansas Trivia champion Ted Heim, of Topeka, for inspiring today’s question!

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