University of Alabama basketball standout George Linn passed away Monday at age 84 at his home in Dothan.
Linn, born in Columbus, Ohio, was a captain of the celebrated Rocket 8 team that won the Southeastern Conference championship by going undefeated in league play in the 1955-56 season. He averaged 22.2 points on a squad that finished 21-3 with a No. 5 national ranking.
“On that team he was one of the leaders,” said Jack Kubiszyn, who was a sophomore on the championship team. “George was a good guy. I learned a lot just by watching him.
“When we beat Kentucky, he’s the one who stole the ball with probably 20 seconds to go in the game and got a layup for the 101st point. He was a terrific player, one of the best in the league.”
Linn also had the distinction of making what was, at the time, the longest shot in college basketball history. He heaved an 84-foot, 11-inch shot at Foster Auditorium, where the spot on the floor was marked with an X embedded into the north end of the court.
“Threw that thing against North Carolina,” Kubiszyn said.
Linn earned first-team All-America honors and was tapped last year as an SEC Basketball Legend. He was an alternate on the U.S. Olympic team that won the gold medal in 1956 in Melbourne, Australia.
Linn served as vice president of legislative affairs at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in Washington, D.C., until his retirement and worked may years as an alcohol and drug counselor for the city of Columbus, Ohio.
He is survived by two children, Elizabeth Holimon Planz of Dothan and George Drury Flowers of Huntsville, as well as a grandson and sister.