Today we unveil the final spot on UK’s G.O.A.T. squad, starting point guard and Hardinsburg, Kentucky’s own: Ralph Beard.
Beard was a member of Adolph Rupp’s “Fab Five” along with Alex Groza, Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones, Cliff Barker and Kenny Rollins. He helped lead the ‘Cats to the ’48 and ’49 National Championships.
Ralph also won a gold medal in the 1948 Olympic Games in London along with the Fab Five and the AAU Champion Phillips Oilers representing America.
Beard was the school’s first four-time All-SEC selection, and finished with 1,517 points, 14th on Kentucky’s all-time scoring list. He is also the only three-time All-American in Kentucky basketball history, earning consensus 1st team his Sophomore, Junior and Senior years.
The NBA 1949-1951
Drafted in the second round of the 1949 NBA Draft by Chicago, Beard played two seasons for Indianapolis, averaging 15.9ppg, 3.8rpg and 4.4apg. He was named to the ’51 All-Star team (the NBA’s first) and following that season was suspended for life by commissioner Maurice Podoloff when he, along with Alex “The Beak” Groza admitted point shaving during their college careers.
Where Is He Now?
Ralph passed away on November 29th, 2007 at his home in Louisville.