Kundla, John Albert

Kundla, John Albert, 1916–, American basketball coach, b. Star Junction, Pa. A star player at the Univ. of Minnesota, he served in the navy during World War II, then coached (1946–47) at the College of St. Thomas in Minnesota. In 1947 he was hired as head coach by the new Minneapolis Lakers, who won the 1949 National Basketball League and the 1950 Basketball Association of America championships. Following the league merger that created the National Basketball Association, Kundla's Lakers won the 1950 and 1952–54 NBA championships. Kundla stressed the importance of a dominant player in the center position: George Mikan became the NBA's first “big man,” and his play of the league's big draws. After resigning from the Lakers, Kundla was head coach at the Univ. of Minnesota (1959–68). He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995.

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