Guilford College will retire the jerseys from four of their all-time greats on Saturday afternoon following the Quakers 3pm game with Randolph-Macon.
M.L. Carr, Lloyd “World” B. Free, Bob Kauffman, and Dan Kuzma are the former Guilford College Quakers that will have soon have their jerseys hanging from the rafters of the Ragan-Brown Fieldhouse.
I do not believe any of the four played their games in the Ragan-Brown Fieldhouse, but they all did their damage to the Quakers visiting foes in the old Alumni Gym.
Of the four; Carr and Free played for legendary Quaker coach Jack Jensen, while Kauffman and Kuzma made their names as a young Guilford stars for coach Jerry Steele.
There have many Guilford stars to come on to the campus at West Friendly Avenue and New Garden Road over the years and the four men who will have their jerseys retired on Saturday were among the best. Who could forget all of the others that we have talked about over the years here at the site?
Jerry Crocker, Tom Ennis, Bert Feik, Eddie Dyer, David Smith, Pat Morarity, Robert Kent, Johnny Ralls, Sam Kennedy, Teddy East, Steve Hankins, Ray Masengill, Dennis Haglan, Buzz Dunning, Ted Mallick, Johnny Moore, Don Lineberry, David Meredith, John Brooks, and many, many more…….
Bob Kauffman may have been the first superstar to come through Guilford College. This line should sum it up and say it all on Kauffman’s pilgrimage to the NBA, “Kauffman was the third player taken overall in the 1968 NBA draft after Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld”. Kauffman may have been the best of the big three in Kauffman, Carr and Free; although more people tend to remember Carr and Free.
I do believe this line sums up Free’s short time spent at Guilford, “As a freshman he led Guilford’s basketball team and helped the team win the NAIA National Championship and was named MVP of the NAIA Tournament”.
ML Carr is best-remembered from his days in the NBA, for waving the white towel high in the air over on the Boston Celtics’ bench, as his team was about to wrap up another NBA title. This line says a lot about Carr and his work in the NBA, “He averaged 9.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game during his NBA career, while being selected to the All-Defense second team during the 1979 season after leading the league in steals”.
We have the wikipedias on Free, Carr and Kauffman and we should have more on Dan Kuzma later on in the week…….Very good reads for those of you that have followed basketball here locally over the years.
Here’s the wikipedia on World B. Lloyd Free:
World B. Free (born Lloyd Bernard Free on December 9, 1953 in Atlanta, Georgia) is an American former professional basketball player who played in the NBA from 1975-1988. Free was known as the “Prince of Midair” as well as “All-World”.
Free attended Canarsie High School in Brooklyn, New York before attending Guilford College in North Carolina. As a freshman he led Guilford’s basketball team and helped the team win the NAIA National Championship and was named MVP of the NAIA Tournament.
He played for the San Diego Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston Rockets in the National Basketball Association. He got his name from his days in Brooklyn, where a friend nicknamed him “World” because of his 44-inch vertical leaps and 360-degree dunks. He was known for taking high-risk shots and playing flamboyantly.
For both the 1978-79 and 1979-80 campaigns, George Gervin and Free were number 1 and 2 in the league in scoring. Free averaged 20.3 points per game over 13 seasons in the NBA. His best season was 1979-80 with the Clippers, averaging 30.2 points per game, as well as 4.2 assists per game and 3.5 rebounds per game in 68 games. He was an All-Star that season as well.
Free also played in the United States Basketball League (USBL) for the Miami Tropics. He was USBL Man of The Year in 1986 and the Miami Tropics won the championship. His USBL stint took place the summer before Free went to the Houston Rockets for the 1987-88 season, which was his last NBA season. For Free, the highlight of that season was November 12, 1987, when he scored 38 points against the Sacramento Kings at Arco Arena and brought the Rockets back to win the game.
In 1980, he had his first name legally changed to World.
Currently, Free is community relations director for the Philadelphia 76ers or otherwise known as “Ambassador of Basketball,” where, among other things, he greets fans at 76ers home games in his flamboyant/colorful wardrobe. World also heads the Sixers “Summer Hoops Tour” which is in its 12th season.
On November 30, 2005, World B. Free was honored as a Cleveland Cavaliers Legend at halftime of the Cavaliers game against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Dick Vitale uses his name in college basketball season previews to give the award for best name.
On August 10, 2006, the Philadelphia 76ers announced World B. Free will assume additional duties as director of player development.
The wikipedia on Michael Leon Carr, known as M.L. Carr:
Michael Leon Carr (born January 9, 1951 in Wallace, North Carolina) is an American former professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association and American Basketball Association, and former head coach and General Manager of the Boston Celtics. He coached the Celtics for two seasons, posting a career record of 48 wins and 116 losses. He and his wife currently reside in Marstons Mills, Massachusetts. Carr is the Co-founder, President & CEO of WARM2Kids. WARM2Kids is an information and role model resource for youth. The WARM2Kids Learning Center Program provides much-needed computer & technology centers to community youth centers nationwide.
After graduating from Guilford College, Carr was selected by the Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association with the 7th pick of the 5th round of the 1973 NBA Draft. However, he was one of the final roster cuts the Colonels made in camp, and was subsequently released. The following season, Carr played in Israel for the Israel Sabers in the European Pro Basketball league. For leading his team to the championship, leading the league in scoring, and emerging second in rebounding, he was named Most Valuable Player.
During the 1975-76 NBA season, Carr played for the Spirits of St. Louis in the ABA, averaging 12.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, and was named to the ABA’s All-Rookie Team. The Spirits of St. Louis were one of two ABA teams (the Colonels being the other) that did not join the NBA in the ABA-NBA merger, and as a result Carr joined the NBA as a member of the Detroit Pistons from 1976â€“79 and the Celtics from 1979â€“85. He averaged 9.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game during his NBA career, while being selected to the All-Defense second team during the 1979 season after leading the league in steals.
He was best known for the steal and dunk he made in Game 4 of the 1984 NBA Finals, which sealed the victory for Boston, and eventually won a title for them.
Carr later became the General Manager of the Celtics in 1994. He later took over as coach for the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons. In his last year as coach, the Celtics had the worst record in team history, winning just 15 games and losing 67, which some thought was an effort to get a stronger draft position and poise the team for a comeback under famed college coach, Rick Pitino. He was replaced at the end of season by Rick Pitino who was unable to restore the team to the glory of Carr’s playing days. After the 1997 season, he became the Celtics’ Director of Corporate Development.
Carr later became president of the WNBA’s Charlotte Sting as part of a failed attempt to become the owner of an expansion NBA team in Charlotte, along with Steve Belkin and former teammate Larry Bird. He is now an investor in the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Wikipedia on Bob Kauffman:
Robert “Bob” Kauffman (born July 13, 1946, in Brooklyn, New York) is a retired American professional basketball player.
A 6’8″ forward/center from Guilford College, Kauffman was selected with the third pick of the 1968 NBA Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics. He played seven seasons in the NBA as a member of the Sonics, Chicago Bulls, Buffalo Braves, and Atlanta Hawks. A three-time All-Star (in 1971, 1972, and 1973), Kauffman averaged 11.5 points and 7.0 rebounds for his career. He had his finest season in 1970-71, when he averaged 20.4 points and 10.7 rebounds for the Braves.
Kauffman was the third player taken overall in the 1968 NBA draft after Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld. Kauffman proved to be a legitimate star. At 6’8″ and 240 pounds, Kauffman had the strength and athleticism to play both forward and center. His shot was accurate to 20 feet and he could muscle for points near the hoop. He was also an above-average passer and a willing defender.
The Seattle SuperSonics, in their second year of existence, were 32-50 in Kauffman’s rookie year. But the star prospect never started. He remained a reserve behind smaller forwards. His second year, star player/coach Lenny Wilkens traded Kauffman to Chicago for aging veteran Bob Boozer. Chicago faired a few games better that year than Seattle, but went with a smaller, quicker lineup that again featured smaller forwards. Kauffman was even deeper on Dick Motta’s bench in the playoffs.
The Bulls, who actually needed big man help, then traded Kauffman to the expansion Buffalo Braves. Kauffman, who could not get a chance at forward before, became the Braves’ starting center, where his play reminded some of Dave Cowens or Dan Issel. He responded with an average of 20 points, 11 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game for the season and a selection to the NBA All-Star Game. Finally with a fair opportunity, he had proven his talent.
With seven-foot shot blocker Elmore Smith added in 1971, Kauffman moved back to his natural power forward spot and was again an NBA all-star. His stats remained about the same. He hit half his shots and 80% of his free throws as well. His play highlighted a second straight losing season during his time there.
In 1972, coach Jack Ramsay and star rookie Bob MacAdoo arrived. The three big men , Smith, Kauffman and MacAdoo, formed a potent frontline. But the Braves were again not winners. A shakeup was needed.
Kauffman had earned his third straight All-Star selection with 17.5 points, 11 rebounds and five assists per game. Despite his obvious talents, however, his all-star days would end here.
Coach Ramsay traded Elmore Smith, placed MacAdoo, a natural forward, at center, and put the three-time all-star Kauffman on the bench. The Braves would start to win now, but Kauffman was again an unhappy reserve, lost in the shuffle of the new roster. So the three-time all-star was dealt to Atlanta, where was again a reserve behind lesser forwards. A disappointed Kauffman retired at that point.
Kauffman would later serve as General Manager and briefly as head coach of the Detroit Pistons for a half-season to fill a coaching vacancy, posting a 29-29 record. He was a 32-year-old coach who had elevated a losing team. But the following season, the coaching spot was given to Dick Vitale.