From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Unseld, Westley S. "Wes"

(born: March 14, 1946  -  died: June 2, 2020) 

Wes Unseld was born in Louisville, KY, and attended Seneca High School, where he played on the basketball team that won two state tournaments. In 1964, he was the second African American to be named Kentucky Mr. Basketball (the first was Seneca player Mike Redd in 1963). Unseld was also the 6' 7" center for the University of Louisville basketball team, for which he was a three year letter winner, two time All American, and three time All Conference player. He scored 1,686 points, had 1,551 rebounds and led the conference in rebounds for three years. He played 13 years in the NBA with the Baltimore Bullets [later the Washington Bullets, now the Washington Wizards] and retired as the NBA's 7th all time leading rebounder. From 1987-1994, Unseld was the head coach of the Washington Bullets, the second African American from Kentucky to become an NBA head coach [Bernie Bickerstaff was first and Dwane Casey was third]. In 1988, Wes Unseld was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1977-2008; Basketball Biographies. 434 U.S. players, coaches and contributors to the game, 1891-1990, by M. Taragano; and "The 2004 Racial and gender report card: National Basketball Association" 05/02/2005, by Richard Lapchick.


Kentucky County & Region

Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Unseld, Westley S. "Wes",” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 27, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-05-31 19:53:03