The Fabulous Five

One frequently asked question tossed at basketball historians and sports authorities is, “Who were the ‘Fabulous Five’ of Kentucky?” The answer is Alex Groza (center), and Kenny Rollins (guards), “Wah Wah” Jones and Cliff Barker (forwards). This famous 1947-48 team, captained by Rollins, won 36 and lost 3 while sweeping to ’s first title. The Fabulous Five then went on to participate as a unit in the Olympic Games, helping the USA team capture the world championship. Rollins graduated after the 1948 season, but the remaining four starters continued to play havoc with collegiate basketball and captured another NCAA title for Kentucky in 1949 with a record of 32-2.

The Fabulous Five 1948 – Seated: Ralph Beard, Adolph Rupp, Standing: Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones, Alex Groza,
and teammates watch as drives a nail in the spot where Beard launched and made a 52.5 foot shot against February 14, 1948 in Alumni Gym.