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This image collection celebrates the historic connections of basketball in Kansas to the 1936 Berlin Olympics.  This was the first time basketball was played as an Olympic sport.  The U.S. team won the gold medal, and Kansas and Wichita State University were well represented.  Two of the team players, Francis Johnson and Jack Ragland, were 1934 graduates of the University of Wichita, as Wichita State University was then known.  When they qualified for the Olympics, they were members of an industrial league team, the Refiners, sponsored by Globe Refining Company in McPherson, Kansas.  Francis Johnson’s older brother Gene was one of the two Olympic team coaches.  Gene Johnson had coached basketball at the University of Wichita from 1928-1933 prior to coaching the Refiners in McPherson.  The other Olympic team members were drawn from the Refiners, a Universal Studios team, and one player was from the University of Washington.  The images in this collection are mainly from the student yearbook, the Parnassus, and two local newspapers, the Wichita Eagle and the Wichita Beacon.

 

Kansas Basketball Landing page splahs image

 
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