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Called “the greatest player I ever coached” by Phog Allen, Paul Endacott certainly lived up to that remark during his time at Kansas.

A Lawrence native, he learned to play basketball at the local YMCA from none other than Dr. James Naismith. Endacott began his collegiate basketball career in 1921 as a guard/forward combo for the Jayhawks.

During his junior and senior years, Endacott led his team to two conference championships and two Helms Foundation National Championships, in 1922 and 1923. He was also named to the All-Conference and All-American teams both years.

According to the Kansas Alumni Association, Allen enjoyed reminiscing on a particular game against Missouri during Endacott’s senior year. Endacott grabbed 16-straight jump balls in the last minutes of the game and later collapsed in the locker room due to exhaustion. The Jayhawks prevailed 21-19 that day, a key win in their route to the conference championship that added to their undefeated conference record of 16-0.

In 1923, Endacott was named the Helms Foundation Player of the Year, the first Kansas player to receive that honor. He was also Kansas' first Honor man, an annual award for the student displaying leadership, scholastic achievement and greatest overall contribution to the student body and University.

After graduating from Kansas with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering, Endacott played AAU basketball for five seasons with the Phillips 66 Oilers. He then went on to work for Phillips Petroleum and eventually became president of the company in 1951.

One of Kansas’ first greats, Endacott was named to the Associated Press All-Time All-American Second Team and Phog Allen's National All-Time College Team.

Later in life, Endacott received many awards for his contributions to basketball.

He received the Sportsmen’s World Award for basketball for “Performances and exemplary personal conduct which have stood the test of time" in 1969. In 1972, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2009. 

Endacott's No. 12 was lifted into the rafters on Jan. 25, 1992, five years before his passing.

Edited by Erin Brock