May 9, 2001
Oklahoma Baptist University basketball legend Al Tucker died Monday, May 7, after a 10-day hospital stay, in Dayton, Ohio.
Tucker, one of the greatest small college basketball players of all time, played in Shawnee in the mid-1960s, leading the Bison to their only NAIA basketball championship and two other appearances in the championship game.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 12, at the Greater Allen AME Church, 1620 West 5th Street., in Dayton.
"This comes as a great shock to me," said OBU executive vice president John Parrish, who served as sports information director during Tucker's days at OBU. "Al was not only an OBU sports legend. He was a personal friend."
Tucker established a number of records, many of which still stand. He had 27 rebounds in one game, 2,788 career points, 996 points in a season, 50 points in a game, a 31.1-point season scoring average, a 28.7-point career scoring average, 21 field goals in a game, 365 field goals in one season, 266 free throws in one season, 1,252 rebounds in a career, 467 rebounds in a season
All of those records at OBU owned by Al Tucker have stood the test of 34 years and the arrival of the three-point shot. He was an All-American in each of his three seasons at OBU, MVP of the NAIA Tournament twice, the leading scorer in the NAIA Tournament three times and a member of the NAIA All-Time Tournament Team.
"OBU has had some great basketball players but none who achieved what Al Tucker achieved," said Parrish. "Al was the type of player who played to his highest level against our best competition. He was truly a big-game player. He made a tremendous contribution to OBU sports and he will not be forgotten by OBU basketball fans."
Tucker was the No. 1 draft pick of the expansion Sonics, the sixth player taken in the 1968 draft. A 6-9 shooter from OBU, Tucker was also the first pick of the ABA's Oakland Oaks. He signed with Seattle and was named to the 1968 NBA All-Rookie Team. He played for the Sonics and the Cincinnati Royals in the next season and also played for the Chicago Bulls, Baltimore Bullets and The Floridians before his professional playing days ended in 1972.