The Wyoming Athletics program is fondly remembering three time All American and former national player of the year Kenny Sailors who died in his sleep Saturday at the age of 95.
Sailors is credited with developing the modern day jump shot that he used to lead the Cowboys to the 1943 National Championship. Sailors was also one of the pioneers of professional basketball. After he stopped playing he was a hunting and fishing guide. Late in life he returned to Laramie and was a regular at practices and games. UW Athletics Director Tom Burman remembers Sailors having a heart to heart conversation with a former player.
“I remember one time a few years ago we had a lot of drama in basketball and Brandon Ewing was having a tough time, I walk down there and Kenny is chatting with Brandon talking to him about how to deal with adversity. Kids at that time didn’t really realize what that meant, but I guarantee you if you asked Brandon Ewing now what that mean it means a lot to him. So we were blessed to have him around our program for a number of years.”
A number of former Wyoming athlete’s tweeted condolences while adding that he had a big impact on them.
Cowboys Coach Larry Shyatt said he was glad Sailors got to see last years Mountain West Conference Championship.
“Kenny’s gonna be sorely missed by so many. I remember he would come up to see Jeremy and I the first year or two we were back and all he kept saying was I want to see just one more championship. So get got to see that…”
Sailors number 4 was retired by Wyoming and it hangs in the Arena-Auditorium.