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Know Your KU History: Paul Endacott

When you start your basketball career in 1920, you’re bound to have done some things first.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

I guess when your playing career includes the very start of the sport, you will probably be the first to achieve quite a few notable things. Kansas guard Paul Endacott is no exception.

The Lawrence High School graduate arrived on campus at KU in the fall of 1919. Endacott arrived on campus in the same season as legend Phog Allen did (Allen was at KU from 1907-09 but left for Warrensburg before returning to Lawrence), and Paul started playing basketball when his was eligible to do so in the fall of 1920. In that first season, Endacott led KU to a 10-8 record but his individual stardom was already noticed. He was selected to the first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference in his sophomore season.

The next season, he really shined. The 5’10" combo guard/forward was again selected to the All-MVC team, but after leading the Jayhawks to a 15-1 record in conference, a 16-2 overall record, and the 1922 Helm National Championship, Endacott was selected to the All-America team.

But, that was not the last the college basketball world would see of Paul Endacott. The 1922-23 season brought the most honors for Paul, both individually and for his team. That year, the Jayhawks went undefeated in the conference at 16-0 and 17-1 overall (their lone loss came to the pesky Kansas City Athletic Club, the same team that handed KU its only non-conference loss of the previous season) and won their second consecutive Helms Championship. A big victory at home (in Robinson Gymnasium!) over then-rival Missouri was said to be the key win of the season and a reason that KU won the National Championship.

Endacott also repeated as All-MVC and All-America. He was the first Kansas player to be named to the All-America team twice and his 1923 team was the first to sweep through their conference undefeated in the "modern" era (KU did it in 1908 as well, but they only played a six-game schedule).

Not only did he receive all these honors at the end of the season, but he also received the most coveted individual award in college basketball. Endacott was named the National Player of the Year in 1923, the first Kansas player to receive that honor.

After he graduated from KU, Endacott went on to play AAU basketball with the Phillips 66 Oilers. After that, he went on to work for the team’s namesake company, rising steadily through the ranks. He made it all the way to the top, becoming the president of Phillips before retiring in 1967.

In 1971, the National Basketball Hall of Fame came calling and Endacott was inducted the following year. Twenty years later, his classic #12 jersey was raised to the rafters of Allen Fieldhouse.