The Cowboy with a Jump Shot
“Hurry up and take my picture because this is the suit I want to be buried in”, Kenny Sailors jokingly said! Mr. Sailors and I just met for a photo shoot at the Arena-Auditorium with his agent/friend Bill Schrage and Tim Harkins with University of Wyoming Media Relations. At age 91 Sailors is the oldest living college basketball player to play in the NCAA tournament. Sailors and his teammates beat Georgetown to win the 1943 championship. This legendary man also developed the one-hand jump shot as is known in today’s game.
My photo assignment was taken for an article that ran in the 2012 NCAA Final Four basketball program.
After the photo shoot was over Bill asked Kenny to walk down (from concourse level) to greet Wyoming Cowgirls basketball player Ashley Sickles taking practice shots. The two walked down lots of stairs, briefly visiting with Sickles and walking straight back up. As I watched with Tim Harkins I said “I purposely try to avoid those steps”, Harkins said “I do too”.
Sailors didn’t take one deep breath walking back up, I couldn’t believe it! At his age, but also with an altitude of 7,220 feet above sea level this high of elevation will keep some athletes from being recruited to play here in this mountain college town.