Ex-NBA star, Olympian Bob Boozer dies at 75

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The Chicago Bulls selected Boozer in the 1966 expansion draft, and he averaged 20.4 points and 8.7 rebounds in three seasons with the team. He made his only All-Star appearance in 1968 while with the Bulls. He played with Robertson and Lew Alcindor while winning the ‘71 title with the Bucks.

Bulls teammate Bob Love said he remembered Boozer for the running hook shots he took as he crossed the lane.

“You couldn’t block his shot,” Love said. “He had those long arms and wide body. He couldn’t jump real high, but he had a quick shot. He’d get his shot off and get back under the hoop and put the ball back in the hole.”

Off the court, Love said, Boozer was a caring individual who was quick with a smile.

“We would call each other and go on trips together with the retired players association,” Love said. “He was always so concerned about the other players and how they were doing.”

Boozer returned to Omaha after his playing days and worked as an executive for the telephone company. He was appointed to the Nebraska Parole Board in the 1990s and volunteered at Boys Town, the home for troubled youth.

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman said Boozer was one of the state’s great ambassadors. Boozer worked on a number of educational programs with Heineman’s wife, Sally Ganem. He was particularly interested in helping young African-Americans achieve their goals, Heineman said.

“He never forgot where he came from,” the governor said.

Ella Boozer said her husband had been in good health before he fell ill while having dinner with friends on Friday evening. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where the aneurysm was discovered. Ella Boozer said she and her son decided to take him off life support Saturday afternoon.

Funeral arrangements were pending.

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