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Bob Boozer, member of original Bulls, dead

  |   May 21, 2012 at 4:11 PM
OMAHA, May 21 (UPI) -- Bob Boozer, who won a gold medal in the Olympics and was a member of the original Chicago Bulls in 1966, has died. He was 75.

Boozer died Saturday after suffering a brain aneurysm Friday while visiting friends in Omaha, The New York Times reported.

Boozer, a 6-foot-8 forward, played 11 years in the NBA and averaged 14.8 points and 8.1 rebounds for six teams in 874 games, the Chicago Tribune reported. He was a member of the Milwaukee Bucks when the team won an NBA championship in 1970-71, his final season.

Boozer, one of the Bulls' 18 picks in the May 1, 1966, expansion draft, averaged 20.4 points and 8.7 rebounds in three seasons with the Bulls and appeared in the 1968 All-Star Game.

The Bulls won 33 games in 1966-67, an expansion team record, and made the playoffs but were swept by the St. Louis Hawks.

Boozer, who had been a two-time All-American at Kansas State, was drafted by the Cincinnati Royals in the first overall pick of the 1959 draft. But he delayed entering the league, playing for the Amateur Athletic Union Peoria Caterpillars so he could retain his amateur status for the 1960 Summer Olympics.

The gold medal-winning team included Boozer, Jerry West, Jerry Lucas and Oscar Robertson and was coached by Pete Newell.

After he left the NBA, the Omaha World-Herald said, Boozer had a successful career with a communications company. He worked as a community affairs executive and a federal lobbyist.

Boozer has a street named after him in his native Omaha.

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