ELSTUN, DONALD 'GENE' Father of Doug Elstun ('92), Brother of Bill Elstun ('60)
Hometown: Shawnee-Mission, KS (Shawnee Mission Rural HS)
1957: Co-captain, All Big 7
On Golf team. Won the Birchmont Golf Tournament, Bemidji, MN in 1954 and 1958
ANOTHER ’57 HERO DIES……………Donald ‘Gene’ Elstun. <Reprinted from KUSports.com>
Gene Elstun, co-captain of Kansas University's 1957 NCAA Final Four basketball team, died Thursday in Overland Park of pancreatic cancer. Elstun, 64, was the second-leading scorer and rebounder on the 1956-57 KU team that lost a triple-overtime thriller to North Carolina in the '57 NCAA title game. "Even though he was only 6-foot-3, he played forward," said Jerry Waugh, who was an assistant coach on that KU team. "That was very unusual because we had other people who were bigger and better jumpers." Waugh described Elstun as a "very sound player who was not outstanding in any phase, but solid." Elstun averaged 11.3 points a game during his senior season. Wilt Chamberlain led the Jayhawks in scoring that year with a 29.6 average.
Elstun, a prep standout at Shawnee Mission High (now Shawnee Mission North) averaged 14.2 points a game as a sophomore for the Jayhawks in 1954-55, and 12.8 ppg as a junior in 1955-56. After graduating from KU, he served two terms of duty in the U.S. Army tank corps. Also an accomplished golfer, Elstun later worked as a manufacturers' rep in the golf industry. His son Doug also played basketball at Kansas during the 1990-91 season after transferring from North Carolina.
Author’s note: The article didn’t mention that Gene was also survived by his brother, Bill, who also played at KU in the 1959-60 season. And, it didn’t mention that the coach of the ’57 team, Dick Harp, also died last week.
p.s. Wish I had noted the date of this article.
Other Elstun obituaries