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
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.
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.
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.