LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Tommy Kron, a starter on Kentucky's "Rupp's Runts" team in the 1960s, died Thursday after a battle with cancer, the school announced. He was 64.
His death followed by just hours the death of another of Adolph Rupp's standouts, All-American Ralph Beard, who also died in Louisville after a series of illnesses. Beard, 79, played for the Wildcats' national championship teams in 1948 and '49.
"Ralph was without question one of the greatest to ever wear the Kentucky uniform, and Tommy remained one of the most popular Wildcats on one of the most popular UK teams," Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said in a statement. "The commonwealth of Kentucky lost two special people today."
Rupp's Runts, depicted in the 2006 film "Glory Road," reached the NCAA national championship game in 1966 but lost to Texas Western. Kron also helped lead the team to Southeastern Conference championships in 1964 and '66 and was a two-time All-SEC player.
He was drafted 24th in the 1966 NBA Draft by the St. Louis Hawks. He played three seasons in the NBA and one in the ABA.
Kron was a Tell City, Ind., native but lived in Louisville, where he died at his home.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)