Jerry Johnson guards Lew Alcinder in the 1969 NCAA championship game. Indy Star file photo
“Coach, I just stood by this guy he must be at least 7 feet, 4 inches tall.” That’s what Jerry Johnson said to Head Coach, George King, in the huddle before Purdue met UCLA in the final game of the 1969 NCAA basketball tournament.
Ted Hayes remembers
“I’m 6-10 and he towers over me,” Johnson said.
“Don’t worry about it Jerry,” King replied. “We’re just counting on you to hold him under 33 points.”
Jerry tried and he did pretty well. Kareem Abdul Jabbar, known in those days as Lew Alcinder, only scored 37 against Johnson.
It was on this date in 1969 that UCLA beat Purdue in the final game of the NCAA Basketball Tournament at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky.
Jerry Johnson of Knox started in that game going up against Lew Alcinder, who eventually became Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
Jerry Johnson will be Ted Hayes’ guest on “Ted Hayes Remembers” this Friday at 12:20 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. CT.
Too bad Jerry won’t be able to cheer, cheer, for old Purdue during the program as the Boilermakers stumbled against VCU Sunday evening.