Former NBA center Darrall Imhoff dies at age 78

16 October 2010: The Cal logo on a drum during and NCAA football game between the California Golden Bears and the USC Trojans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. CA.
Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire

Former NBA center Darrall Imhoff died on Friday in Bend, Ore., of a heart attack at the age of 78. Imhoff played in college for the Cal Golden Bears and represented the United States at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome.

The native of San Gabriel, California, became a walk-on for the Cal basketball team. The 6-foot-10 center would develop into one of the more dominant players in the country, become a consensus First-team All-American in 1960. He played under legendary head coach Pete Newell, winning the 1959 NCAA Championship, before losing the following year in the 1960 National Title Game. His No. 40 would go on to be retired by the program in 1988.

In 1960, he would go on to become a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. men’s basketball team. Two of his teammates on that team, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West, soon became even more integral to his life when it came time for the 1960 NBA Draft.

Selected third overall by the New York Knicks, Imhoff saw two players go in front of him: Robertson and West. Imhoff would struggle during his NBA career to remain in one city, spending just two years with the Knicks, before moving on to the Detroit Pistons.

After two years in Detroit, he joined the Los Angeles Lakers (and West) and was named an All-Star for the first and only time in his career in 1966-67. He would finish his career playing two seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers, two with the Cincinnati Royals, and one with the Portland Trail Blazers.

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