At Male basketball player, George Tinsley was an all-star, at Kentucky Wesleyan he was a champion, but today as an entrepreneur George Tinsley is a sports legend of the ‘Ville.
Louisville Male high school has produced its share of quality athletes and yet another name to add to the list is Tinsley, who attracted the attention of Kentucky Wesleyan following high school. The school was already well on its way towards Division II championships but with Tinsley the promise of a solid basketball program had been solidified. Leading the team to three NCAA championships, between 1966 1969, Tinsley’s play was so outstanding that in ’69 he was named the Tournament’s “Most Outstanding Player,” in addition he won the great honor of becoming a two-time All-American.
Looking back several years later in 1976 at Tinsley’s abilities the school named him the greatest player for the team in the prior fifty years. More recently his college excellence was heralded again when he was named to the Division II All-Decade Team in 2008.
With those credentials it came as a shock to no one when both the NBA (the Chicago Bulls) as well as the ABA (a rival basketball association to the NBA who was prevalent in the 1970’s) (the Oakland Oaks) both drafted him in 1969.
Tinsley opted to go to the sunny shores of California joining the Oaks. A solid player in Oakland for three years, Tinsley’s next stop put him back home suiting up with Louisville’s Kentucky Colonels for the 69-70 season, in ’71 the young athlete made another move to Miami, Florida suiting up with their pro-team the Floridians until 1972. ’72 saw him make one final move as a pro when he joined the New York Nets (Brooklyn Nets).
After a notable career as a pro athlete though, Tinsley decided to announce his retirement from the ABA and NBA respectively, however not from basketball as Tinsley came back home to his alma mater Male in 1975, working as both a teacher and coach.
With fellow Louisville sports legend, Wade Houston, Tinsley led Male to a Kentucky state high school basketball championship.
Today, Tinsley still plays basketball in tournaments all over the country and is deeply involved in charity. In addition he works as a public speaker for a variety of events.
Image courtesy of George W. Tinsley