Gene Rhodes

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Gene Rhodes
Personal information
Born (1927-09-02)September 2, 1927
Louisville, Kentucky
Died March 10, 2018(2018-03-10) (aged 90)
Louisville, Kentucky
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Listed weight 170 lb (77 kg)
Career information
High school Louisville Male
(Louisville, Kentucky)
College Western Kentucky (1948–1952)
NBA draft 1952 / Round: 5 / Pick: 44th overall
Selected by the Indianapolis Olympians
Playing career 1952–1953
Position Point guard
Number 7
Career history
As player:
1952–1953 Indianapolis Olympians
As coach:
19671971 Kentucky Colonels
Career NBA statistics
Points 337
Rebounds 98
Assists 91
Stats at

Eugene Stephen Rhodes (September 2, 1927 – March 10, 2018) was an American basketball player and coach.


Rhodes played college basketball at Western Kentucky University. While Rhodes was a player, WKU won the Ohio Valley Conference championship in 1949, 1950 and 1951, playing in the National Invitational Tournament in each of those seasons.

Rhodes played in the NBA for the Indianapolis Olympians.

Rhodes was later head basketball coach at St. Xavier High School, leading that team to the 1958 Kentucky state championship.

In 1964, Rhodes later returned to WKU as an assistant coach under John Oldham, to 1968. In that time the team went to two NCAA tournaments and appeared once in the National Invitational Tournament.

During the inaugural season of the American Basketball Association the Kentucky Colonels started out with a record of 5-12, which led to the firing of head coach John Givens. Rhodes replaced Givens and guided the Colonels to fourth place in the Eastern Division. The Colonels lost the 1968 Eastern Division semifinals to the Minnesota Muskies 3 games to two.

In the 1968–69 season Rhodes led the Colonels to a record of 42-36 which was good for third place in the Eastern Division. Rhodes also coached the East team in the ABA All Star game. The Colonels made history this season as Penny Early became the first female player in the history of professional basketball. In the playoffs, the Colonels lost a close series, 4 games to 3, to the Indiana Pacers.

During the 1969–70 season the Colonels posted a record of 45 wins and 39 losses, claiming second place in the Eastern Division. The Colonels beat the New York Nets 4 games to 3 in the Eastern Division semifinals bust lost the Eastern Division finals to the Indiana Pacers, 4 games to 1.

Rhodes began the 1970–71 season with a 10-5 record with the Colonels but was fired at that point. Alex Groza was briefly the Colonels' head coach for two games (winning both) and Frank Ramsey assumed the reins for the remainder of the season as the Colonels defeated the Miami Floridians 4 games to 2 in the Eastern Division semifinals, defeated the Virginia Squires 4 games to 2 in the Eastern Division finals but then lost a very close ABA Championship series, 4 games to 3, to the Utah Stars.

In 1973, Rhodes became general manager of the Kentucky Colonels.


Rhodes died on March 10, 2018 aged 90 in his hometown in Louisville, Kentucky.[1][2][3]


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