Westley S. Unseld
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Westley S. Unseld, born and raised in Louisville, led Seneca High School to two state championships. After graduating from high school in 1965, Mr. Unseld came to UofL where he was the star center of the Cardinal basketball team. He averaged 35.8 points per game and 23.6 rebounds per game in 14 games with a freshman team.
He was a 3-year letter winner; scored 1,686 points in 82 games (averaging 20.6 points per game); grabbed 1,551 rebounds (averaging 18.9 rebounds per game); led the conference in rebounding in 1967 and 1968; and led Louisville to a 60-22 record with two trips to the NCAA tournament and one trip to the NIT tournament.
Mr. Unseld excelled academically as well, making the dean’s list as handily as he attained All-America status. He obtained a B.S in health and physical education and history in 1968. Mr. Unseld was drafted in the first round by the Baltimore Bullets in 1968 and helped lead the Bullets to a 57-25 record and a division title. Mr. Unseld averaged 18.2 rebounds per game that year and became only the second person ever to win both Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player in the same season.
Mr. Unseld was a five-time NBA All-Star. Famed for rebounding and outlet passes, Mr. Unseld’s style of play was thoroughly team-oriented. He led the Baltimore (and after a move, the Washington) Bullets to four NBA finals. When the Bullets won the championship in 1978 over the Seattle Supersonics, Mr. Unseld was named MVP.
After he retired, he was hired by the Bullets as a vice president and was made Head Coach in 1987. In 1996, he became General Manager of the Washington Wizards and served in that role for seven years.
Mr. Unseld was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988. In 1996, he was named as one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players of all time. On the court, Mr. Unseld was unquestionably a fierce competitor, but off-court he is known for his easy-going, compassionate, and generous ways.
Among Mr. Unseld’s many direct contributions to his community, he has worked and contributed intensively to help his wife, Connie, establish and manage a private elementary and middle school along with a developmental program for infants and toddlers.
Dean J. Blaine Hudson presents the College of Arts and Sciences Hall of Honor medallion to Connie Unseld, accepting on behalf of her husband. Wes Unseld was unable to attend the November 9, 2007 induction ceremony.