John Rudometkin, the University of Southern California star center who played in the NBA for New York and San Francisco, has died. He was 75.
The school said Wednesday that Rudometkin died Tuesday in Newcastle of chronic lung disease, the lingering effect of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in his chest that ended his NBA career.
Nicknamed "The Reckless Russian" by broadcaster Chick Hearn, the 6-foot-6 Rudometkin led the Trojans to the 1961 Athletic Association of Western Universities title, their last outright conference crown.
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Rudometkin left USC with career records for points with 1,484, scoring average at 18.8, and rebounds with 831, and is seventh now on the school's scoring chart and fourth in rebounding. He was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001 and his No. 44 jersey was retired in 2010.
Rudometkin averaged 6.3 points and 3.1 assists in 131 regular-season games in four NBA seasons, three with the Knicks and one for the Warriors.