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Kentucky Athletics: Wallace "Wah Wah" Jones Passes Away

Mr. Jones. 1926-2014. RIP.

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

News broke this afternoon that Kentucky great Wallace "Wah Wah" Jones passed away. Jones, who had just celebrated his 88th birthday, passed away Sunday morning. What Jones accomplished in his athletic career six decades ago would qualify him for superhero status today. Jones played baseball, football, basketball, and track at the University of Kentucky between 1945-1949. Jones was a member of Adolph Rupp's famous "Fabulous Five", and he was a member of teams that won two national championships. He was also a member of the football teams coached by Paul "Bear"Bryant. In both football and basketball he was an All-American, and is the only UK athlete to have his jersey retired in two different sports.

Additionally, Jones accomplish even more athletic achievements. He was a member of the basketball team that won a gold medal at the 1948 Olympics in London (he beat Anthony Davis by six decades). In the 1949 NBA draft he was selected eighth overall by the Washington Capitols. In a three year NBA career he averaged roughly 12 points per game. Jones also reportedly turned down opportunities to play baseball for the Boston Braves in order to play professional basketball. After his professional athletic career Mr. Jones returned to Fayette County and was elected sheriff. He owned Around The Town publications, and later established Bluegrass Tours.

In the tweet above, Jones is helping to raise the 2012 National Championship banner into Rupp Arena's rafters. It was one of the last public appearances that a large number of fans were able to see the UK legend. The boy from Harlan, KY "done good"in his long life. As long as there is the University of Kentucky, Wallace Jones will be one of its giants.