John B. McLendon, Jr. was born in Hiawatha, Kansas and graduated from KU in 1936 with a degree in Physical Education. While at KU, he studied basketball under its creator, Dr. James Naismith. Though not allowed to play on the varsity team at KU due to the university’s color line, he would go on to an impressive career as a basketball coach. He won eight CIAA (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) championships. He also invented several facets of the game, including the fast break, zone press, and four corners offense.
Kansas Black History Facts are prepared for The Community Voice newspaper by Donna Rae Pearson.
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