Two-sport Kentucky Wildcats legend 'Wah Wah' Jones dies at 88
One of the first big-time stars of Bluegrass hoops, Jones helped UK win its first two national titles.
One of the oldest legends of Kentucky hoops has died. Wallace "Wah Wah" Jones is gone at the age of 88. Jones was a two-sport athlete at UK but best known for helping the Wildcats win their first two titles in men's hoops.
Jones, 6-feet-4, was the last living "Fabulous Five" player from the 1948/49 UK teams that won it all. He was an All-American at UK, then played in the Olympics and won a gold medal for Team USA basketball in 1948.
Joining Jones as part of that Fabulous Five were Cliff Barker, Ralph Beard, Alex Groza and Kenny Rollins. All five of the men's jerseys were retired in 2012.
UK coach John Calipari took to Twitter to pass on his condolences.
Sad to hear of the passing of arguably the greatest UK athlete, Wah Wah Jones. He was an All-American under Adolph Rupp and Bear Bryant.— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) July 27, 2014
Jones was also known for his football ability, having been a letterwinner for UK from 1945-48. He has the distinct experience of being coached by Bear Bryant on the field and Adolph Rupp on the court -- two coaches considered among the greatest ever in their respective sports.
Jones had his number retired in basketball and football, the only player in school history to earn that honor. Legend has it Jones earned his nickname because he had a younger sister who at one point was unable to properly pronounce his first name.
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