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Kenny Sailors is a remarkable man. He is a one-time college basketball star at the University of Wyoming where he introduced the use of the jump shot as a potent weapon to the sport, and when the NCAA basketball tournament celebrated its seventy-fifth anniversary in 2013 Sailors was the oldest living most outstanding player.
At the time Sailors was ninety-two years old and could look back on a life well lived, a life of grand achievement, and a life of contentment. In 1943, when the Wyoming Cowboys won their only NCAA title, Sailors, a five-foot, eleven-inch guard was selected as the outstanding player of the tournament. After that he played during the first five years of the NBA’s existence, a role that had him shifting from team to team during the unstable years of the fledgling league.
Always an outdoorsman, and really a cowboy at heart (not only a representative of a school that had that nickname applied to its sports teams), Sailors and his wife, Marilynne, known as Bokie, operated dude ranches, camps for boys, and hunting camps in Wyoming. Then, in 1965, they left behind their childhood homes and set out for Alaska.
For the next thirty-five years Sailors worked as both a hunting guide and as a high school basketball coach in remote Alaska communities. In 2000, Sailors returned to his native Wyoming and he presently resides in Laramie, just a short distance from the site of his collegiate athletic triumphs.