Bud Stallworth Born: January 18, 1950 (Hartselle, AL)
Graduated: Morgan County Training School, 1968; University of Kansas 1972
Few basketball pick-up games are ever heard about. Even fewer result in a scholarship and one of the most memorable basketball careers in a school’s history. Yet for Isaac “Bud” Stallworth, it was the pick-up game that sealed his fate as one of the greatest basketball players in the history of the University of Kansas.
Stallworth, a native of the small, segregated town of Hartselle, Alabama, was the epitome of a student-athlete. As the child of a principal and a teacher, education, and a drive to be the best in all that he did, was instilled in him at an early age.
In fact, it was Stallworth’s drive for competition and education that first led him to the University of Kansas in 1967. An accomplished musician, Stallworth enrolled at the Midwestern Music and Arts Camp held in Lawrence over the summer and it was at the camp that his true calling emerged.
A talented basketball player in his home state, Stallworth played in a pick-up game against some of the KU players still on campus over the summer during some down-time at the music camp, despite warnings from his father to stay away from the court because of fear of injury. It did not take long for him to make an impression, especially on fellow Kansas Sports Hall of Fame inductee Jo Jo White, who passed the word on to head Coach Ted Owens.
Owens and his staff continued to follow the progress of Stallworth throughout high school and offered him a scholarship upon graduation.
Stallworth blossomed at KU, scoring 1,495 points from 1970-1972 and becoming a two-time all-conference selection.
Best known for his break-out senior season in 1972, Stallworth led the nation in scoring average at 25.3 points per game while grabbing 7.7 rebounds per contest. Stallworth’s biggest game came against Missouri in the annual “Border War” and his fifty points still stands as a school record against a conference opponent. That year, he was named the Big Eight Conference Player of the Year and was a consensus All-American.
Despite his greatness on the court, he continued to stay true to his educational upbringing and excelled off the court as well as on it. In 1971, Stallworth was the first KU basketball player to earn All-America status in the classroom.
Stallworth is one of only three players in school history to earn All-America status both on and off the court.
Drafted seventh overall in the 1972 draft, Stallworth played five NBA seasons with the Seattle SuperSonics and the New Orleans Jazz.
Stallworth currently lives in Lawrence with his wife Teresa. He remains active in KU athletics and co-hosts at least twice a week on the “Rock Chalk Sports Talk” show for radio station 1320 AM (KLWN) in Lawrence.