Al Peterson.jpg

Al Peterson was one of Phog Allen’s best centers.

Playing for the Jayhawks from 1925-27, Peterson garnered first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference awards all three seasons, and was a two-time first-team All-American in 1925 and 1926. His 1926 first-team All-American honor was a consensus selection, marking the 10th time a Jayhawk was tabbed to that list. He and his teammate Gale Gordon were both named consensus first-team All-Americans that season.

From 1925-27, Kansas won three conference titles in a row, continuing the success that fellow Kansas legends Paul Endacott, Charlie T. Black and Tusten "Tus" Ackerman had in the seasons before them.

Peterson led the Jayhawks in scoring in both the 1926 and 1927 seasons. He averaged 9.1 points and 10.3 points in those years, respectively.

By the end of his career, the 6-foot-3 Peterson played in 53 games and scored 461 points for an average of 8.7 points per game. He only lost five games in those three seasons.

At the end of the 1927 season, the Lawrence Journal-World asked James Naismith to select an “All-Modern KU Basketball Team” from the 1923-27 teams. Naismith came back with Endacott, Ackerman, Black, Gordon and Peterson.

The University yearbook, the “Jayhawker,” celebrated their success, writing, “Peterson, Gordon, and Schmidt are too strong a combination for the opposing teams to overcome in the offensive part of the game. Without question, this trio is one of the smoothest and fastest scoring combinations ever unleashed on a college basketball floor.”

His No. 36 jersey was lifted in the rafters on Jan. 15, 2003, the same day as Gordon. He, like Gordon, is enshrined in the Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame.

— Edited by Casey Brown