• Hall of Fame Athlete

    George Tinsley, Sr. had his college jersey retired and has been inducted in the following Halls of Fame:

    • Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame
    • Kentucky Wesleyan College Alumni Hall of Fame,
    • Smoketown Athletic Hall of Fame (Louisville)
    • Louisville Male High School Hall of Fame

    Ky. Athletic Hall of Fame Member: George Tinsley, Sr.

    George Still Hooping it up in the Sr. League!

    George Tinsley, Sr. is the quintessential athlete. In addition to his personal success as a professional athlete, he gives back through coaching, sponsoring local sports teams and family activities and still runs up and down the court competing in Senior Basketball as both a player and sponsor of his KFC Polk County Players Team.

    He competes in the local, state and national tournaments, in the 60—64 age group division, to maintain his personal level of fitness and release stress.

    Tinsley credits his “above average height” for jumpstarting his athletic career. “I excelled in basketball, track; any sport I participated in. In high school, the coaches wanted me to stick to basketball as my primary sport, so I ran cross country and track just to get in shape. I actually received more track scholarships than basketball, but basketball was my favorite sport.”

    And for Tinsley, basketball, laced with determination, were the keys that began to unlock many of his future opportunities.

    George's "Classic Shooter's Form" During College Game

    At Kentucky Wesleyan College, he was a member of three teams that won the NCAA Men’s Division II Basketball Championship (1966, 1968 and 1969), was named Tourney Most Outstanding Player (1969) and became a two-time All-American athlete.

    In 1976, Kentucky Wesleyan named Tinsley its “Greatest Basketball Player for the Past 50 Years.” In 2008, he was named to the NCAA Division II All Decade Team along with Earl Monroe, Walt Frazier, Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan and other stalwarts of the era.

    Continuing to excel, Tinsley was selected in the sixth round of the 1969 NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls and in the ABA draft by the Oakland Oaks. He chose the ABA, where he played for three years.

    George Driving to the Hoop in his ABA days!

    Tinsley played for the Kentucky Colonels (1969-70), Miami Floridians (1971-72), Washington Capitals (1969) and his final team, the New York Nets (1972).

    He retired from professional basketball in 1973.

    “I was fortunate to have a college education and great job offers,” Tinsley said. “My transition was smooth.”

    Tinsley began teaching and coaching at his alma mater, Male High School, in Louisville. In 1975, as an assistant coach, Tinsley, along with head coach and good friend, Wade Houston, they led Male High School to becoming Kentucky High School Basketball State Champions.


  • 1 Response to "Hall of Fame Athlete"

    1. george tinsley 09 Sep 2010

      It is with great pride to recommend to you for induction into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame, the Kentucky
      Wesleyan College basketball legend, No. 50 George Tinsley.
      You already have a complete bio of his legendary feats and accomplishments. What is truly remarkable even after
      40-plus years since his playing days, George Tinsley is still being honored for what he achieved in the 60s and 70s
      by Kentucky Wesleyan, sports media, the NCAA, fellow ABA/NBA Alumni and the City of Louisville.
      In March, he was the leading vote-getter for KWC’s All-Century Basketball Team by 968 fans. At the College, when
      you say George, everyone knows you talking about the Legend. The Courier Journal in 1999 selected George to
      their All-Time Kentucky Wesleyan Team. The college also honored him in May with an Honorary Doctoral degree.
      In 2006, he was named to the 10-member NCAA’s Division II Elite Eight 50th Anniversary Team for leading the
      Panthers to three NCAA Championships and one Third Place finish plus his selection to the All-Tournament Team
      twice and setting the NCAA Division II Tournament record for most consecutive games starts with 20.
      Joining George on the Anniversary Team was Basketball Hall of Fame honorees Jerry Sloan, Walt
      Frazier, Phil Jackson and former Paducah native and head coach at Winston-Salem, Clarence “Big
      House” Gaines.
      In regards to his pro career, his former ABA/NBA Alumni recognized his playing ability, character,
      leadership and attention to detail as they appointed him President of the National Basketball Retired
      Players Association in 2010 and Treasurer in 2009.
      This past fall, the Louisville Sports Commission named George as an Honorary Co-Chair for the 2010
      NCAA Division II Fall Sports Festival that includes six National Championships.
      Should the Committee select, George, he will join his former KWC coach Guy Strong in the KAHF and
      that would be very fitting for a player and his coach.
      If it was not for George Tinsley, Kentucky Wesleyan College today would not be America’s Premier
      NCAA Division II Program with a “Championship Tradition.”
      Roy Pickerill
      Sports Information Director
      Kentucky Wesleyan College

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