Wes Unseld

  • Died: June 2, 2020
  • Location:

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Wes Unseld

Legendary Washington Bullets center

Wes Unseld was a legendary Hall of Fame center for the Baltimore/Washington Bullets who was one of only two players in NBA history to win rookie of the year and MVP in the same season. For full obituary and coverage from Legacy.com, click here.


Condolence & Memory Journal

May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.

Posted by Charles Jones - Louisville, KY - neighbor   November 19, 2020

To the family, many, many friends, and fans to one of the greatest centers who ever played this game. His camp inspired many young men to want a career in basketball. May you find comfort in your wealth of fond memories together with Wes Unseld. May the God of comfort bless your grieving hearts with strength, loving kindness and peace as the world copes with the loss of Wes. We will never forget that he was one of only two players in NBA history to win rookie of the year and MVP in the same season, what a tremendous goal and accomplishment.

Posted by CJJ - NJ   July 10, 2020

What a consummate basketball player - and that ferocious outlet pass will never be duplicated! He made it so enjoyable to watch him play the game. Thank you for the great memories. RIP Wes Unseld!

Posted by Rose Charles - Bronx, NY   July 09, 2020

My deepest condolences to the family. May you find comfort in your treasured memories of Your loved one and May God continue to comfort you in the days, months and years ahead.

Posted by A friend   June 30, 2020

I love you Wes. Everyone who ever knew you does. I wish you had lived another 20 years. The world needs good men like you.

Posted by Patsy Atack - Washington - coworker   June 20, 2020

To Mr. Unseld family and friends I'm sending my condolences and prayers he was one of the greatest players i ever saw play the game of basketball he will truly be missed by all God Bless you and the family

Posted by Charles Boatwright - Youngstown, OH - acquaintance   June 14, 2020

May god grant the Unseld family peace and comfort during this difficult time and all of you are in my prayers. Thank you Wes for putting Louisville Basketball on the map and making it what it is today. You are a true legend and hero in this city and you will never be forgotten. God bless the Unseld family. Rest easy Wes. Cardinal Forever.

Posted by Nicholas Brumback    June 10, 2020

Connie and family I have you all in my prayers. I do know the deep of you missing at this time but God prevail and restore your spirits. When we did get together he often picked on me but it was playful and we both would laugh. May God send his Angels around you at this and thank you for sharing Wes with me in my life .

Posted by Elmer Tribble - Louisville, KY - friend   June 09, 2020

So very sorry to hear of your loss. Loved to watch him play basketball. My prayers are with you and your family.

Posted by So very sorry to hear of your loss. Loved to watch him play basketball. My Heil - LOUISVILLE, KY - friend   June 08, 2020

Westley Unseld was the first great Basketball player I ever met. I suppose the second one was Butch Beard. Westley was our summer camp counselor at Skyview Park in Jeffersontown, KY while he was in high school. I know he gave me the nickname "Tallulah" because my voice was so deep at age 13. In later years I would see Westley and Connie when they were on campus at University of Louisville as they were close friends with Butch and Ruth (Hack) Beard. Connie and the entire Unseld/Martin families are in my prayers. My deepest condolences to these families and prayers for their strength in the days to come.

Posted by Rosetta Shelby-Calvin - Little Rock, AR - acquaintance   June 08, 2020

My love of basketball started with this Washington Bullets team. I loved Wes and Elvin. I am saddened to hear of his passing. May Jehovah comfort his family.

Posted by Alfreda Valentine - Helena-West Helena, AR   June 08, 2020

This is Alene Dunlap of Oklahoma City, Okla. I met Wes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His sister, Sandy and I taught school together and were good friends until her death in 2009. I met the whole family. Attended Wes and Connies wedding in 1970. His sister Jeannie taught in Milwaukee as well. The family have my deepest sympathy. Praying for the entire family. I loved that family. RIP Wes

Posted by Alene Dunlap - Oklahoma City, OK   June 07, 2020

R.I.P. Superstar

Posted by Cindy Mobbs - Rainbow City, AL - friend   June 07, 2020

Will miss you from Sellis Lewis and family from Newburg

Posted by A friend   June 07, 2020

I had the privilege of meeting Wes Unseld several times in the early 70's at a sports camp in Virginia I worked at. I remember seeing him often work out on the Universal Gym doing leg presses that used all the weights the machine had to offer - and he only used one leg to lift them all while casually talking with me and a couple other staff members. I was impressed with not only his size and strength, but equally with his kindness and humility. He was a giant of a man in many ways and one that I will always remember with great respect. My deepest condolences to his family and the entire Bullets/Wizards organization.

Posted by Barbara Meyer - MARLBOROUGH, CT - acquaintance   June 07, 2020

Candle

Posted by Alishia - SC   June 06, 2020

Candle

In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always. Always a gentleman on the basketball court..LEGENDARY

Posted by Valenda Newell - INDIANAPOLIS, IN   June 06, 2020

Candle

Connie, you and the family have my deepest sumpathy, for I remember meeting Wes fot the first time and Aunt Carrie's (West end house on the river) and I was scared cause he was so big and tall, but I was only 4/5 yrs old.
Take care and trust God, your cousin, Robyn Bellamy (Cousin Carolyn's daughter in Louisville)

Posted by Robyn Bellamy - Louisville, KY - family   June 06, 2020

The best I ever watched play. You will be missed.

Posted by Fred Tudor - Louisville, KY - classmate   June 05, 2020

My great friend and good & friend of Mr. Unseld, Jo Jo Parker, who worked at his private school teaching young children how to play basketball, is also grieving.He was a close friend of wes. Send him your Love and he was closer than you know. Jo Parker is my friend.

Posted by Charlie Russell - Hollywood, MD   June 05, 2020

A legend wherever he played: Louisville Seneca High School, University of Louisville and Baltimore/Washington Bullets! Was accorded the greatest and most-prolonged standing ovation ever when he exited the game at Freedom Hall for the final time. RIP Wes! Thanks for the memories!

Posted by Monty Bugg - Louisville, KY   June 05, 2020

The Seneca High School Class of '64, Louisville, Kentucky, sends its sincere condolences to the family of Wes Unseld, our classmate, our hero, and our friend. We fondly remember our tender and kind-hearted scholar and athlete who shared our experiences at the unique school that was Seneca in the sixties. May his family know the comfort of their memories of him and the love we send to them from our friendships. He was special. For the class.....Brenda Greenlee Stettenbenz and Patricia Seitz Cox

Posted by Brenda Stettenbenz - Louisville, KY - classmate   June 05, 2020

May the family of Wes Unseld find comfort in God who heals the brokenhearted. Im sorry for your loss.

Posted by A friend   June 05, 2020

send deepest condolences to the family for your loss. Wes was a Legend, a Hall of Fame player who made innumerable contributions to the NBA. At this sad time, may the God of tender mercies comfort you and give you peace.

Posted by Mary - Acquaintance   June 05, 2020

Wes and I played basketball for U of L at the same time, obviously he was a little better player than I was. Wes was loved by everyone and carried himself as a true inspiration to be emulated!! My deepest condolences to his entire family, I know how much you will miss him.

Posted by Pam Levin - Louisville, KY - classmate   June 04, 2020

Good by Wess. Been a fan since I was a little kid. Used to watch you play at the Armory in Louisville. May God Rest Your Soul.

Posted by Bruce Hall - Louisville, KY   June 04, 2020

I had the good fortune to visit with the Unseld family several times in Baltimore. Wes was one of the kindest and most giving people I ever met. His one liners made me laugh until my face hurt. My favorite memory of him is a walk he and I took on the beach in Ocean City with a standard poodle, this short chubby white girl, and Wes. I'm sure we were quite a sight. It was hard to walk ten steps without someone wanting to shake his hand. He had a quick wit, showed a deep love for his family, and I was so fortunate to spend a little time with the Unselds. To Connie, Kim, Wes, and the Unseld and Martin familes, my sincere sympathies.

Posted by Debbie Baker - Friend   June 04, 2020

He was a great man with a big heart. He will be missed.

Posted by David & Tracey Kaul - Union Bridge, MD - friend   June 04, 2020

My Condolences to the family of Wes Unseld.

Posted by A friend   June 04, 2020

I first met Wes when I was 10 or 11 years old as a result of his affiliation with the BNBL summer league. I eventually attended his camp 3 consecutive years. His tutoring made a me a better player a more complete black man and a much more well rounded understanding person. He was one of my first male role models outside my family. He was a pillar of a man. He embodied strength of mind body and sole. My heartfelt condolences to Ms Connie & Wes Jr. RIP big fella you will be missed.

Posted by Bryan C - Hampton, VA - friend   June 04, 2020

Coach had us meet him and we got into his car in Frankfort to go to a game. when we turned right on 64 I knew we were not going to Memorial , we were headed to Freedom Hall. Thank you Mr. Unseld for being the Greatest Ever in Kentucky. You are the reason I am A Cardinal Fan and always will be. Rest in Peace Big Man

Posted by tracy james - salvisa, KY   June 04, 2020

I attended U of Louisville with Wes from 1964 to 1966. He saved my life more than once. We lived in Stevenson Hall and one night the Cardinal's 7 foot red-shirt made a comment about my girlfriend and I suckered-punched him and stood my ground to take the beating I knew would follow. Wes came in and told the 7 footer not to touch me. He is my guardian angel and I was so lucky to know him.

Posted by John West - Leesburg, VA - classmate   June 04, 2020

I served on the board of Advisors at Towson University with Connie, who was always a class act but I first watched Wes Unseld both play and coach the Bullets/ Wizards. One of the finest examples of an athlete for young people that has ever played or coached the game. We will miss this wonderful man who lived a Godly life. I am so sorry to the family for your loss. May God Bless you with great memories

Posted by Denny Mather - Acquaintance   June 04, 2020

TO the Unseld Family,
im Sorry for Your Loss
from a Gentle Giant Fan.

Posted by Maxine Wright    June 04, 2020

Deep heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the legendary Wes Unseld. What a magnificent and tremendous presence he was on the court but also in the lives of many others. May the God of Comfort and of tender mercies bind your hearts and lift your spirit with his loving promise.

Posted by Mike C    June 04, 2020

Rest in peace. As a Celtic fan I appreciated how hard you worked and I enjoyed watching your team win that hard fought championship.

Posted by Richard Pumphrey - North Weymouth, MA   June 04, 2020

I am glad to be a friend of yours for 20 years taking care of you and your family. I will always remember all the hours and stories you and I had at the dealership. RIP Wes
Bob Reder
Gene Latta Ford

Posted by Bob Reder - Friend   June 04, 2020

I was a young fan at ten years old and wes so cool, ended up exchanging birthday and Christmas gifts, let me in the locker room after the games, and even gave me a job at his camps. I'm 56 now and Wes, he's with his biggest fan now, my mother....

Posted by John cinotti - Friend   June 04, 2020

Wes, my friend and I often teased you from the behind the basket seats, as Knicks fans in the 1970's. That was so, only from respect for your fearsome abilities. You were one of my favorites for the fundamentals you exhibited, from day one. Many years later, in 2015, I asked the receptionist, Judy, at Dr. Otto's office to relay my opinion that you and Elvin were one of the best Center/Power Forward combos ever, & your polite reply was appreciated. Always a gentleman, to the end, despite the physical prowess of a "gentle giant." You will be sorely missed, by many. Chuck Clair

Posted by Chuck Clair - Vista, CA   June 03, 2020

Great man, beautiful family!
A legend...

Posted by Terry Leach - Louisville, KY - friend   June 03, 2020

Candle

Godspeed Wes, and thank you for sharing a part of your life with us, and the wonderful basketball memories. Both college and professional.

Posted by Harry Simpson - Buckeye, AZ   June 03, 2020

Sorry for you loss Mr Unsel's Family. What A GREAT ROLE MODEL! RIP

Posted by Robbin Ebb - Friend   June 03, 2020

To The Unseld Family,
I am so sorry for your loss. I grew up being such a fan of Wes Unseld. One of my all time favorite players of all times. He played so hard and never took a play off. This was from his U of L days and Washington days. I only knew him from watching him play ball. After reading about him, I wish I would have known him personally. He sounds like such a wonderful human being. Your family are in my thoughts and prayers. May the many wonderful memories of Mr. Unseld comfort you during this difficult time.
Sincerely,
Keith Bube

Posted by Keith Bube - New Albany, IN   June 03, 2020

My deepest condolences to the family, keeping you all in prayer.

Posted by Patricia Newson - Boston, MA - friend   June 03, 2020

MET Wes when I came to Louisville, KY in 1966. Lived in Miller Hall at Univ. Louisville next door to Wes. I met him for first time not knowing who he was not being from Louisville. Though he was a football player.. He indicated he played basketball.
Went to first basketball game and that night I told him I now know who you are.
Wes was such a great guy and I never forgot him. I will always remember Wes. He will be greatly missed.
God bless this great man.

Posted by Jim Lundgard - Louisville, KY - friend   June 03, 2020

I was an English teacher at Seneca H.S. from 196164 when both Wes and his brother George were students. I remember most vividly their parents. Mr. and Mrs. Unseld always put character and responsibility above their sons athletic achievements, they were an exemplary family. After Wes visited Coach Rupp at UK, which then had an all-white team, the high school received many ugly letters. Our principal, Mr. Farmer, hid most of them from Wes. Alice Chumbley Ray Lora

Posted by Alice Chumbley Ray Lora    June 03, 2020

Worked with wess unsel from 1973 to 1994 cap center special seating sky suites. He was a great person.

Posted by A friend   June 03, 2020

Please accept my sincere condolences to the Unseld Family, May the God of comfort mend and bind up your grieving hearts as you cope with the loss of Wes in your lives. Wes left a Legacy in the NBA League to remember him by and he will be missed.

Posted by BRY    June 03, 2020

I was a fan of wes, he was a great player in his time.Lula crawford

Posted by A friend   June 03, 2020

To the Family :

I send you my deepest condolences on the death of your loved one.

Be not sad, God is the Comforter.

We will miss Mr. Unseld. He was a great player and a joy to watch.

May you find peace in this time of sorrow.

Posted by MONTANA GARCIA - San Pedro, CA - acquaintance   June 03, 2020

A joy to watch him playing. What a legacy he has left.

Posted by Bob Ashmore - Juno Beach, FL - friend   June 03, 2020

My condolences to the family, watched him play for the Bullets growing up in northern Virginia

Posted by Don Hooker - Riverview, FL   June 03, 2020

Wes, you were a great player. I watched you play your whole career. You were a man amongst boys when playing the game.RIP my friend theyll never be another like ya

Posted by charles coote - dedham, MA - friend   June 03, 2020

ur sympathy goes out to the family of Wes Unseld. What a basketball layer. One of my favorites. He will be missed by many.

Posted by Roy    June 03, 2020

Best picks in the biz back in the day. God bless your family at this time. Just know he was my hero and made this girl very happy in very dark times.

Posted by kfp    June 03, 2020

he was a leader and and awesome roll model for my generation . May he rest in peace and be long remembered

Posted by Donald Edwards - Satellite Beach, FL   June 03, 2020

One of my favorites ball players from yester-year. My condolences to the family.

Posted by Marion Smith - New York, NY - student   June 03, 2020

His life and character made Louisville proud.

Posted by Bill Anderson - Panacea, FL - classmate   June 03, 2020

Our deepest condolences to the family. We pray that God continues to strengthen and comfort the family during this difficult period.

Posted by A friend   June 03, 2020

Truly a legend that will be missed, My heart goes out to the Unseld family, praying that God be with you in your time of sorrow.

Posted by A friend   June 03, 2020

Candle

I was an avid BB fan for many, many years, and Mr Unseld was one of my all-time favorite players. Godspeed to him in his journey.

Posted by A friend   June 03, 2020

MAY GOD BLESS HIM AND THE FAMILY AND MAY GOD GIVE THEM PEACE AMEEN

Posted by Khalid A.Samad - Cleveland, OH   June 03, 2020

Mr. Unseld was a class act on and off the court. I remember as a kid going to watch him practice at Seneca High School. He was kind and a gentle giant. He personified hard work with great character and leadership. Rest In Peace.

Posted by Marty Poulter - Louisville   June 03, 2020

As a 60 yr. old WHITE Man, Mr Unseld , NEVER gave a Negative interview. He was a TEAM Player, the way the NBA was brought up. I will miss those times and Players. God Rest his soul, Bless His Family..................

Posted by Joseph Robson - Friend   June 02, 2020

To loose a dear family member is a devastating thing. I offer my sincere condolences. May God bless the family and comfort you at this time.

Posted by - AL   June 02, 2020

To loose a dear love one is such a difficult loss. Please accept my condolences and may God comfort the family to ease the pain.

Posted by - AL   June 02, 2020

Always loved watching Wes play, and have also loved reading and hearing the accounts of his wonderful character. A player who utilized his gifts to the fullest; always extending maximum effort. He was a true basketball sage, as well.

Thanks for the memories and the solid examples, on and off the court, Wes. Rest in Peace.

Posted by - CA   June 02, 2020

I had the pleasure meeting your family when Kim was brought to Dickeyville Day Nursery. I still remember when, soon after Wes was born, Wes, Sr brought the baby to show the staff. Wes, you fit from his elbow to his hand. He was so proud. He had so much love for his family. Please except my deepest condolences and prays.
Mary R Hirsh (Little Miss Mary)

Posted by Mary R. Hirsh - Teacher   June 02, 2020

I was fortunate enough to create and run Wes' basketball camps in the 80's. What a wonderful, kind tower of strength and kindness! I've watched the NBA for 65 years and never saw anyone do what he showed the kids at our camps: Catching a rebound off the backboard, turning around in mid air and hitting the far basket with a pass. Amazing! They don't come any better than Wes Unseld. He will be missed.

Posted by Max Shapiro - San Francisco, CA - coworker   June 02, 2020

Wes and his brother George were icons at Seneca High School in Louisville. His family were very involved in the community and he was loved by many.

Posted by Steve Hile - Louisville, KY - classmate   June 02, 2020

Candle

I work with Wes Unseld when he was the General manager with the Washington bullets ,he will be truly miss ,sorry for your loss Rose Miller

Posted by Rose Miller - Upper Marlboro, MD - coworker   June 02, 2020

the God of comfort bring the family peace in this difficult time.

Posted by A friend   June 02, 2020

Go with God: and peace.

Posted by Peatro Chancy - Friend   June 02, 2020

I extend my most heartfelt sympathies to the Unseld family. Mr. Unseld was and still is my favorite NBA star of all time.

I too was an under-sized center that was inspired by the mental toughness and skill level of Mr. Unseld. I had the honor one summer at a basketball camp of seeing Mr.
Unseld provide an outlet pass demonstration. It was a hot day in August and all the campers were seated on the black top in anticipation. Mr. Unseld in one smooth motion proceeded to bounce the basketball off the metal back board, catch it, turn 180 degrees in mid-air, pass the ball over his head on a rope and hit the other metal back board 94' feet away with a thunderous BANG. I sat there in aww. I can picture it like it was yesterday.

Even more impressive than his signature over the head outlet pass demonstration, was his humility, class and the way Mr. Unseld carried himself.

Rest in peace, Mr. Unseld. 41 forever!

Posted by Jim Wilcox - MANSFIELD CENTER, CT - acquaintance   June 02, 2020

May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.

Posted by willis jackson - durham, NC - friend   June 02, 2020

My Sincere Condolences to the Unseld Family !!!

Posted by Jerry Davis - Memphis, TN   June 02, 2020

Candle

I remember going to Wes Unselds basketball camp when I was younger and he was larger than life. I remember during camp he would always challenge the kid who thought they were the fastest and the kid would take off and then he would just baseball throw the ball to the other side and beat him. He was always kind to me and my family as I went there multiple years. I have grown up a Bullets/Wizards fan and those games at the Cap Centre were some of my fondest memories and he was a large part of that. Thank you to his wife and children to allow him to give of his time and energy to a sport that he loved. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family.

Posted by Damian Polewczak - Newport News, VA - acquaintance   June 02, 2020


Family Album

Wes Unseld