USC Basketball: The Cradle Of Coaches

This is the 1946-47 USC basketball team. And their contributions to the sport will never make you think USC does not have an illustrious basketball history:

The first player seated in Row 1 is Bill Sharman. He won four NBA titles as a player with the Boston Celtics and was an 8-time NBA all-star. He also spent five years in the Brooklyn Dodgers organization and was in the dugout for the famous Shot Heard Round the World.

Sharman then coached the Utah Stars to the ABA title in 1971 and 1972 Lakers to the NBA title. He is one of only two people to coach and ABA and NBA team to championships. Who is the other? That would be Alex Hannum, who is also seated in Row 1 and wearing No. 11.

Hannum coached the St. Louis Hawks to the NBA title in 1958 title and Philadelphia 76ers to the NBA title. He led the Oakland Oaks to the 1969 ABA championship. He also played in the NBA from 1949-57.

Now look at Row 2. The second player from the left is Tex Winter, who invented the triangle offense. He is most famous today as the Chicago Bulls and Lakers assistant, where he won nine NBA titles. But Winter was also the head coach at Marquette, Kansas State, Washington, Northwestern and Long Beach State.

The coach of this team on the far left was Sam Barry. He is one of only three coaches in college sports history to lead teams to the Final Four and College World Series. He also coached USC’s football, basketball and baseball teams at the same time. And he created the center stripe and 10-second rule in basketball.

Note: The player holding the ball in the photo is USC All-American Gene Rock.


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