American basketball player, Gene Rhodes, Died at 90

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Eugene Stephen “Gene” Rhodes was born on September 2, 1927 and died on March 10, 2018.

He was an American basketball player and coach.

He played college basketball at Western Kentucky University.

As a player, WKU won the Ohio Valley Conference championship in 1949, 1950 and 1951, playing in the National Invitational Tournament in each of those seasons.

He played in the NBA for the Indianapolis Olympians.

Later, he served as the head basketball coach at St. Xavier High School, leading that team to the 1958 Kentucky state championship.

During 1964, Rhodes later returned to WKU as an assistant coach under John Oldham, to 1968.

At that time,the team went to two NCAA tournaments and appeared once in the National Invitational Tournament.

He started in the 1970-1971 season with a 10-5 record with the Colonels but was fired at that point.

Alex Groza was for a short the Colonels’ head coach for two games (winning both) and Frank Ramsey assumed the reins for the remainder of the season as the Colonels defeated the Miami Floridians 4 games to 2 in the Eastern Division semifinals, defeated the Virginia Squires 4 games to 2 in the Eastern Division finals but then lost a very close ABA Championship series, 4 games to 3, to the Utah Stars.

During 1973, Rhodes became general manager for the Kentucky Colonels.

He died on March 10, 2018, aged 90 in his hometown in Louisville, Kentucky.

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