Professional basketball lost a great ABA/NBA player recently


Gold Member
Sep 14, 2018
Eugene "Goo" Kennedy was a North Dallas neighbor of mine who just past away at a fairly young age. His nickname came from a family member who looked at that pudgy baby and said he looked like a goo.

He had a long career in the pros and a lot of great stories. He was mentioned twice in the excellent history of the ABA Loose Balls. A player could pretty much play a lot of places so he found a coach he liked and followed him from team to team. He was a journeyman who even spent some time with the Spirits of St Louis and said that Marvin Bad New Barnes and Fly Williams were definitely as crazy as their rep suggested. "Game time be on time", "I ain't flying in no time machine", and full length fur coats.

He grew up in North Carolina where one of his friends told him to move to Texas where everyone plays football so he would dominate which he did in a season at TCU. He showed me a plaque from TCU for setting the Southwest conference record for rebounds in game but he had to shuffle through his closet a while to find it. He went to TCU because they paid the most and I got the sense that it was in the tens of thousands of dollars which was real money then. After his retirement, a TCU alum offered him his choice of three free Dallas houses and he picked the one with the smallest yard so he would not have to mow it (or so he said). Actually it was a beautiful home overlooking a beautiful creek greenbelt.

He was upwardly mobile from a poor Carolina boy and one of this daughters did well after getting a psychology degree from UCLA which is how it should work.

He was a great guy who drove his Escalade around the neighborhood packed with kids of every color crammed into the back seat. Everybody loved Goo. Classy guy.

As a coda, my brother and I had season tickets to SMU basketball in the 1983-84 season which is when they made it up to #2 in the polls. Attendance was down one cold day so I counted the entire attendance during the national anthem which was about 200 people including refs and teams. Jon Koncak was the 7 foot center who later admitted that SMU paid him $20k to go there (he was originally from Kansas City). As the Texas State Governor Bill Clements said when he lied about paying SMU athletes like Craig James and Eric Dickerson, "there wasn't a Bible in the room." Can't make this crazy Texas stuff up.

Another interesting thing was that Bracey Wright's dad Carl Wright was on that team. He turned pro early and Dave Bliss made no effort to keep him. He was out-of-control head case and you must be a problem to be too crazy to play for Dave Bliss. The draft was televised from Carl's home as the draft went through and Carl was cocky about going first round despite being a sub-40% shooter with no skills. By the time he was chosen in the 5th round, he was telling the TV that God had a plan for him and would accept whatever God planned. He looked like a deflated balloon.

Dallas can be crazy to a guy who grew up in Evansville.