Jim Palmer, a star for Dayton basketball teams in the mid-1950s and a member of the UD Hall of Fame, died Monday at age 80.
Palmer, who played three seasons in the NBA, averaged 11 points and 10.4 rebounds on the 1955-56 team that beat national power Kentucky in Lexington and finished 25-4. Bucky Bockhorn, Bill Uhl and Jim Paxson also were stalwarts on that team, which was ranked second in the nation.
Palmer never played high school basketball and came to Dayton from his native Virginia for a factory job. He grew to 6-foot-6 and played in local industrial leagues, catching the eye of coach Tom Blackburn.
After averaging back-to-back double-doubles and growing to 6-8, he was drafted in the second round (12th overall) in 1957 by the St. Louis Hawks.