Jim Pollard ’40

Jim Pollard, Class of 1940

Jim Pollard, Oakland Tech Class of 1940, was the California State Basketball Player of the Year in 1939 at Tech. He then led Stanford University to the 1942 N.C.A.A. basketball championship and was a consensus All-American.

Pollard scoring on Berkeley High, 1939

After a brief stint with Coast Guard teams in World War II, Pollard joined the Minneapolis Lakers of the N.B.A., the league’s first dynasty. He was considered one of the best forwards in the 1940s and 1950s and became known as “The Kangaroo Kid” for his leaps. His Lakers team won six professional basketball titles, four in the NBA, and one each in the NBL and BAA, winning every year except 1951 between 1948 and 1954.

18 Jan 1951 --- Jim Pollard Dribbling a Basketball --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS
Jim Pollard – Minneapolis Lakers

Pollard ended his career after eight seasons, beginning in the NBL in 1947 and ending in the NBA in 1955. He went on to coach La Salle University men’s basketball for three seasons from 1955–1958, compiling a record of 48-28.

Pollard coached the Minneapolis Lakers in 1960, the Chicago Packers in 1961-62, Minnesota Muskies of the American Basketball Association in 1967 and 1968. He then coached The Floridians of the same league in 1968 and 1969 followed by two seasons at Florida Atlantic University in Ft. Lauderdale.

Pollard married Arilee Hanson, class of 1940. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978. He died at age 71 in 1993.