Artis Gilmore joins JU as Special Assistant to the President

Dec. 13, 2007

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Artis Gilmore, the legendary basketball player and 1970 graduate of Jacksonville University, is joining the school as the Special Assistant to the President.

In his role as Special Assistant, Gilmore will represent the University at various events serving in community relations, working with alumni and donor development, as well as representing the University and the athletics department.

"We are excited to have Artis join the University staff and lend his skills and talents to benefit his alma mater," said JU President Dr. Kerry Romesburg. "His athletic accomplishments speak for themselves, and his outreach in the community shows his true commitment toward positive change for Jacksonville. He was a key part of a golden era at JU - he has been and always will be a key part of this University."

A native of Jacksonville, Gilmore will also continue mentoring programs and help connect the University with the city of Jacksonville in community service with all JU students.

"I am really excited about joining the staff at JU," Gilmore said. "There are a lot of great things going on at JU and I'm looking forward to the positive influence that I can bring to make a difference at JU."

Gilmore starred at JU for two seasons and led the Dolphins to the national championship game against UCLA in 1970. He finished his career with 1,312 points - which currently ranks 13th on the school's all-time list.

He still owns the school record for rebounds (1,224) and his 22.7 rebounds per game is still the highest career average in NCAA history. Setting standard in blocked shots with 269 in his career, Gilmore recorded 12 triple-double as well. He was honored by being in the inaugural JU Athletics Hall of Fame class in 1993.

"Having Artis join the University in this role is a tremendous boost and will help rekindle memories and relationships from days gone by," said JU director of athletics Alan Verlander. "He is always a major presence whenever he is in a room and it is going to be great to work with him to promote the University as well as the athletics department."

Following his collegiate career, Gilmore was drafted in the first round of the 1971 ABA Draft by the Kentucky Colonels. He played five seasons with the Colonels, earning ABA "Rookie of the Year" and MVP honors in 1972 and led Kentucky to the ABA title in 1975.

As the ABA merged with the NBA, Gilmore was the top pick of the Chicago Bulls in the re-entry draft playing 12 seasons with the Bulls, San Antonio Spurs and Boston Celtics before retiring in 1988.

Gilmore remains the NBA record holder for highest career field goal percentage, hitting 59.9 percent of his shots. He finished his NBA career with 15,579 points and added with his total from the ABA gives him a career total of more than 20,000 points - making him one of 24 players to reach the 20,000-point plateau (ABA & NBA combined).

Following his playing career, Gilmore has been active in the local community and has been an employee for W.W. Gay Construction.