Wallace Jones – Wikipedia

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American basketball player (1926–2014)

Wallace Clayton “Wah Wah” Jones (July 14, 1926 – July 27, 2014) was an American professional basketball player. He played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1949 to 1952 with the Indianapolis Olympians.


Jones was born in Harlan, Kentucky. He attended Harlan High School, where he set a national scoring record in basketball and led his school to a state championship. He was all-state in football, basketball and baseball.[1]

Jones attended the University of Kentucky, where he continued to play varsity football, basketball and baseball. He was twice All-SEC in football. In basketball, he was a three time All-American and four time All-SEC. He led the Wildcats to two NCAA Championships, in 1948 and 1949. Jones was a member of the 1948 Olympic Gold medal winning team with Adolph Rupp’s “Fabulous Five” and the Phillips 66ers. During his four years at Kentucky, the basketball team had a combined record of 130-10 and won the SEC championship every year.[1][2]

He holds the unique distinction of being an All-American under both legends, Adolph Rupp (basketball) and Bear Bryant (football) when both coached at Kentucky. He is the only player to have his number retired in both football and basketball at Kentucky.[3] At the University of Kentucky, Jones was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.[4] Jones was selected in the seventh round of the 1949 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears, but did not play in the league.[5]

In 1953, Jones was elected the sheriff of Fayette County, Kentucky.[6] In 1956, Jones was the Republican nominee for Kentucky’s 6th congressional district seat in the United States House of Representatives. Though Dwight Eisenhower, heading the Republican ticket, carried the state, Jones lost the election to Democrat John C. Watts.[6]

In 1978, Jones started a charter bus company called “Blue Grass Tours” that was contracted to the UK Athletics department and more recently purchased a custom sleeper coach for the use of the athletic teams.[7]

“Wah Wah”[edit]

Known as Wallace in his early years, Jones acquired the nickname, “Wah Wah”, when his younger sister Jackie, just learning to talk, could not pronounce his name.[7]


Jones died in Lexington on July 27, 2014 at the age of 88.[7]

Career statistics[edit]



Regular season[edit]



  1. ^ a b ‘Wah Wah’ Jones Passes Away”. University of Kentucky. Retrieved July 31, 2014.
  2. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. “Wallace Jones Olympic Results”. Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on April 18, 2020. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  3. ^ Martin, Douglas (July 28, 2014), “Wah Wah Jones, Versatile Kentucky Athlete, Dies at 88”, The New York Times
  4. ^ “All-Time Kentucky Team (Starting PG): #12 Ralph Beard”. straitpinkie.com. Archived from the original on October 5, 2013. Retrieved May 27, 2013.
  5. ^ “1949 Chicago Bears”. databaseFootball.com. Archived from the original on September 5, 2007. Retrieved July 16, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  6. ^ a b Story, Mark, Farmer’s political rise recalls another former Cat’s Lexington Herald-Leader. September 5, 2010.
  7. ^ a b c Legendary UK basketball and football star Wah Wah Jones dies Lexington Herald-Leader. July 27, 2014.
  8. ^ “Wah Wah Jones”. Basketball Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved February 10, 2023.

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