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Former Houston star Ted Luckenbill dies at age 72


Mike Miller

It’s hard to believe, but there was basketball at Houston before Hakeem (then Akeem) Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler had the Cougars in back-to-back Final Fours. Heck there was basketball at Houston before Elvin Hayes and Don Chaney did the same in the late ‘60s.

Guy Lewis coached the Cougars into relevancy a few years earlier. And Ted Luckenbill was the star of those teams.

Luckenbill, who died of cancer on Sunday in Dallas at the age of 72, averaged 16.6 points and 9.7 rebounds a game while helping Houston to its first two winning seasons and its first NCAA tournament win in 1961. (Photo courtesy of

He put up double-double stats as a senior (18.0 and 10.1), was an All-America honorable mention and remains 26th in Houston all-time scoring with 1,195 points.

But perhaps his greatest claim to fame? He played during Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point NBA game in 1961 and even grabbed a couple offensive rebounds in the final minutes that helped the Stilt hit the century mark.

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