This past weekend, Kenny Sailors—often credited with inventing the jumpshot—passed away at the age of 95 in Wyoming. From The New York Times:
Sailors, who died at 95 on Saturday in Laramie, Wyo., would never say flat out that he had invented the shot on that day or any other. No one can say for sure who did. The early 20th century produced enough far-flung claimants to that distinction to fill out a starting five and warm a decent-size bench — players like Glenn Roberts, Bud Palmer, Mouse Gonzalez, Jumpin’ Joe Fulks, Hank Luisetti and Belus Van Smawley.
But people of reliable authority have said that if they had to pick the one whose prototypical jump shot was the purest, whose mechanics set in motion a scoring technique that thrilled fans and helped transform a two-handed, flat-footed, essentially earthbound affair into the vertical game it is today — giving rise, quite literally, to marksmen like Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Rick Barry, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant — it would be Sailors.
Sailors’s death, in an assisted living center, was announced by the University of Wyoming. He is survived by a son, Dan, as well as eight grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.