Basketball Hall of Fame
John B. McLendon enshrined as a contributor in 1978

John B. McLendon

Enshrined 1978
Born: April 5, 1915
Hiawatha, KS
Died: October 8, 1999

With an engaging personality and pleasant demeanor, an extraordinary knowledge of basketball history, and a coaching resume that made many in the profession envious, John McLendon was one of the game's leading ambassadors for more than 60 years. McLendon, who learned basketball from James Naismith as an undergraduate at Kansas, is the first coach in history to win three consecutive national titles. McLendon's teams featured superior conditioning, a patented fast break offense, and an aggressive in-your-face defensive attitude. A spokesman for heightened awareness of basketball at all-black colleges, McLendon also helped initiate an era of integrated basketball. McLendon's well-rounded coaching background included positions at the collegiate, AAU, and professional level.

  • NAIA championship with Tennessee State, 1957, 1958, 1959
  • NAIA Coach of the Year, 1958
  • Eight CIAA championships, 1941, 1943-44, 1946-47, 1949-50, 1952
  • First African-American professional basketball coach with Cleveland Pipers of the American Basketball League, 1961
Basketball Hall of Fame
Basketball Hall of Fame