Hometown:  Hobbs, New Mexico (Hobbs HS)
Born: 4/4/1939

CATEGORY   TOTAL   1959 1960 1961
YEAR     So. Jr. Sr.
HEIGHT     6'5 6'5 6'5
WEIGHT     219 219 225
Games Played/Started 78/   25/ 28/ 25/
Points 1028   308 318 402
   Per Game 13.2   12.3 11.4 16.1
Rebounds 1081   343 385 353
   Per Game 13.9   13.7 13.8 14.1
FG: Attempts 934   307 293 334
       Made 375   117 112 146
       Percent 40.1   38.1 38.2 43.7
FT: Attempts 426   129 142 155
       Made 278   74 94 110
       Percent 65.3   57.4 66.2 71.0
Production Points/Game          
Production Points/Minute          

 All Big 8 - '59, '60, '61 

Co-captain - '61

All-American - '61

WILLIAM C. “BILL” BRIDGES (Player 1959-61)

Born in 1939 in Hobbs, New Mexico, Bridges was a walk-on when he first came to KU. The rugged 6-6 forward went on to earn a scholarship and basketball fame as an All-American in 1961.  He helped pace KU to a co-Big Eight championship in 1960 and captained the ’61 squad.  He was the first player in the history of Kansas basketball to finish his career with 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.  His 1,081 career caroms is currently fourth on the all-time KU list, and second only to Wilt Chamberlain in rebound average (13.9/game). 

Immediately after college, Bridges starred for the Kansas City Steers of the ABL, led the league in rebounding and was named All-ABL in 1962.  When the league folded, his rights were traded. He then spent 13 seasons (1962–1975) in the National Basketball Association as a member of the St. Louis/Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers, and Golden State Warriors. He won an NBA Championship with the Warriors in 1975 and appeared in three All-Star Games during the course of his career. Though somewhat undersized for his position, Bridges was a strong rebounder and averaged a double-double (11.9 points, 11.9 rebounds) over the course of his career.

The Bill Bridges Rebounding Award is presented annually to Kansas University's single-season leader in caroms. It is a much-sought-after piece of hardware. "It's good to have awards if they inspire kids. I'm honored they named it after me," said Bridges. "I consider it an art form," the undersized Bridges said of rebounding. "It's not always just ripping it down.

"He was an unbelievable rebounder and physical specimen," said Bridges' former teammate, Lawrence businessman Bob Billings. "He had great physical strength and a nose for the basketball, great at blocking out. He is a great person, absolutely the salt of the earth."

A successful business consultant in Santa Monica, Calif., the 62-year-old Bridges returned to Lawrence in February, 2002 to be inducted into the KU Hall of Fame, and again in December, 2004, when his Jersey No. 32 was retired.

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