George Linn Named Alabama’s 2017 SEC Basketball Legend
Former Alabama standout George Linn, a starter on the famed 1956 “Rocket 8” team, is one of 14 former greats who have been selected as 2017 Allstate® Southeastern Conference Basketball Legends.
Linn, a first team All-American in 1956, averaged 22.2 points per game during his All-America season, the fifth-highest scoring average in program history. A member of head coach Johnny Dee’s “Rocket 8” team, he led the Tide to its first postseason ranking at No. 12 in 1955 before improving to a program-best No. 5 during the 1956 season, when he helped the team compile a 21-3 record and win an SEC title. That same year, the Tide finished the season as the first-ever undefeated team in SEC history (14-0) until 40 years later when Kentucky accomplished the feat in 1996.
Linn has the unique distinction of hitting the longest shot in program history when he nailed a full court shot measuring 84 feet 11 inches in Foster Auditorium at the end of the first half vs. North Carolina on Jan. 4, 1955. The shot, which still remains the longest shot made in a sanctioned NCAA basketball game, was featured in Sports Illustrated and is commemorated at the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. A brass marker is currently placed on the gym floor to indicate the location of the shot.
Following his collegiate career, Linn earned a spot as an alternate on the 1956 Olympic Team that won the gold medal in Melbourne, Australia. Linn was drafted by the Boston Celtics with the sixth pick in the third round of the 1956 NBA Draft. He still ranks among Alabama’s all-time leaders in scoring (19th - 1,444 career points) and rebounding (20th – 722).
Joining Linn as members of the 2017 class are: Oliver Miller, Arkansas; Marquis Daniels, Auburn; Matt Bonner, Florida; Jimmy Pitts, Georgia; Keith Bogans, Kentucky; Tasmin Mitchell, LSU; Jason Harrison, Ole Miss; Dontae’ Jones, Mississippi State; John Sundvold, Missouri; Bobby Cremins, South Carolina; Ron Slay, Tennessee; Acie Law IV, Texas A&M; Barry Booker, Vanderbilt.
Linn, along with the entire class, will be honored at the 2017 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament, which will be held March 8-12, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. Each legend will be honored at halftime of his school’s first game at the tournament.
This marks the 18th year of the SEC Basketball Legends program. Alabama’s SEC Legends include, in order, Reggie King, 1999; Wendell Hudson, 2000; T.R. Dunn, 2001; Leon Douglas, 2002; Buck Johnson, 2003; Derrick McKey, 2004; Gary Waites, 2005; Jim Farmer, 2006; Mike Nordholz, 2007; Leon Marlaier, 2008; Melvin Cheatum, 2009; Charles Cleveland, 2010; Robert Horry, 2011; Jack Kubiszyn, 2012; Wimp Sanderson, 2013; Eddie Phillips, 2014; Charles “C.M.” Newton, 2015; and Ennis Whatley, 2016.