19 Walter Hirsch

Name
Walter Hirsch
Position
Forward
Class
Senior
Hometown (Last School)
Dayton, OH (Northridge)
Ht
6'4"
Wt
180
Seasons
1947-48, 1948-49, 1949-50, 1950-51
Birthday
July 15, 1929
SeasonGames
Played
FGFGA%FTFTA%FTotal
Points
1947-4813165529.095955.56837
1948-49346720932.06223268.7565156
1949-503012745328.04437160.56103297
1950-513011339628.54486870.5979274
Total107323111329.0211818065.56255764

 

Walter “Walt” Hirsch, a three-time men’s basketball national champion at the University of Kentucky, died Tuesday, May 11, 2022. He was 92.

Hirsch (1948-51) was a multi-sport athlete, also participating in baseball, and played basketball under legendary head coach Adolph Rupp. Hirsch is the only player in history to be a member of three national title squads.

A 6-foot-4 forward, Hirsch played in 13 games for the 1948 champions, scoring 37 total points. He averaged 4.6 points in 34 appearances for the 1949 title winners and then played in 30 games during the 1951 season, averaging 9.1 points per game. He was the captain of the 1950-51 squad.  He was ineligible to compete in the Tournament that season as a four-year varsity player per NCAA rules at that time.

Hirsch was an All-Southeastern Conference second-team selection in 1950 after averaging 9.9 points per game, the third-highest mark on the team.

For his career, Hirsch played in 107 career games and scored 764 points. Coach Rupp once said Hirsch had something of a sixth sense in passing off to his blind side.  He dished 107 assists in 1950-51.  He was awarded the Jerome Lederer trophy as the most valuable player on the 1950-51 team.

Hirsch also competed in baseball as a first baseman for four seasons.

Following his collegiate career, Hirsch joined the Army during the Korean War. Upon completion of his service, Hirsch worked at the Rath Packing Company.

He is survived by his two daughters, Pam and Nancy, and a grandson, Colin. Walt was preceded in death by his wife, Vicki.

A public funeral service will be held Monday at 2 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Belmond, Iowa. A public visitation will be on Monday at the church from Noon to 2 p.m. A burial with full military honors will be in the Belmond Cemetery. Andrews Funeral Home in Belmond, Iowa is handling all arrangements.

A video conversation between Kyle Macy and Walt Hirsch, October 12, 2018 (kentuckyoralhistory.org)