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1956 U.S. Olympic Team

Olympic Gold Medalist K.C. Jones Dies

  • Date:
    Dec 26, 2020

Legendary guard K.C. Jones (#5 above), a member of the gold medalist 1956 U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team, died Friday. He was 88.

Jones is one of just eight players to win championships at the college, NBA and Olympics.

Jones, playing with University of San Francisco teammate and roommate Bill Russell, helped lead the USA to a gold medal finish at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.  The United States averaged nearly 100 points a game, actually surpassing the century mark in four of their eight games, and the USA's average margin of victory was an impressive 53.5 points a game. Jones averaged 10.9 points a game for the U.S., and recorded 15 points in the USA's gold-medal game 89-55 victory over the Soviet Union.

Jones and Russell paired up to lead San Francisco to back-to-back NCAA titles in 1955 and 1956, and the following summer led the USA to the Olympic gold medal in Melbourne, Australia.

He went on to play nine seasons in the NBA with the Boston Celtics and won eight titles, the third most in league history.

After his playing days, he went on to a distinguished coaching career. Coaching collegiately as well as in the ABA and NBA, he helped lead teams to three more NBA titles, one as an assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers (1972) and two as a head coach of the Boston Celtics (1984 and 1986).

Jones was inducted as a player into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1989.

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