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Former Kentucky basketball player Jerry Bird dead at 83

Former Kentucky basketball player Jerry Bird, who was a member of the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame and had his No. 22 jersey retired to the Rupp Arena rafters, has died. (University of Kentucky Athletics)

Former Kentucky basketball player Jerry Bird, who was a member of the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame and had his No. 22 jersey retired to the Rupp Arena rafters, has died.

An obituary posted by O'Neil-Lawson Funeral Home said Bird died Sunday at a hospital in Corbin. He was 83.

Media report Bird played for Kentucky from 1954 to 1956 and helped the school attain two Southeastern Conference titles in 1954 and 1955. He was part of the 1954 team crowned national champions by the Helms Athletic Foundation after a 25-0 season.

Bird scored 713 career points and had 589 career rebounds under coach Adolph Rupp.

Bird played one season with the New York Knicks before returning to his hometown of Corbin, where he worked at American Greeting Card until retiring.

His is survived by a son, two grandchildren, a brother and a sister. Visitation and services are scheduled for Saturday at Central Baptist Church in Corbin.

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