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NBA star who helped Minneapolis Lakers to title dies after cancer battle

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AFour time NBA all-star Clyde Lovellette, who helped the Minneapolis Lakers to an NBA title, has died after battle with cancer. He was 86.

Kansas University, where he played college basketball, announced Lovellette died Wednesday evening at his home in North Manchester, Indiana.

The 6-foot-9 center spent 12 years in the NBA, four of them with the Minneapolis Lakers between 1953-57, winning the first of his three NBA titles in 1954 (the other two he won with Boston in 1963 and 1964).

His move to the Lakers came a year after he helped lead the United States to the gold medal at the Olympics in Helsinki, Finland, in 1952.

"Clyde's passing is a big loss for anyone who has ever supported Kansas athletics," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "He was a great player, a national champion and Olympic gold medalist. He was a beloved teammate and a great ambassador for his alma mater. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."

According to BasketballReference.com, Lovellette was drafted ninth overall by the Lakers in the 1952 NBA draft and averaged 8.2 points in his first full season – the year the Lakers won the title.

He then went on to average 18.7, 21.5 and 20.8 points in his next three seasons, before leaving the franchise for Cincinnati.

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