Robert A. "Bob" Kurland was named a basketball All-American in 1944, and he repeated in 1945 and 1946, when he also helped the team earn back-to-back national championships (a first for any college at the time) and was named the NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
At seven-foot, Kurland was a pioneering big man in basketball history as the first person to regularly dunk the ball. He was also able to get above the rim to block shots on a regular basis, a move that was later
After graduation, Kurland went to work for Phillips 66 and played on the company's amateur team, which allowed him to be eligible for to play basketball in the 1948 and 1952 Olympics, beating first France and then the Soviet Union to bring home the gold.
Elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1961, Kurland was also inducted into the National Polish American Sports Hall of Fame in 1996. He was inducted into the OSU Hall of Fame in 2009.
Kurland died at age 88 on September 29, 2013. He was survived by his wife, Barbara, four children and several grandchildren.