Sports Brief: Wichita State basketball mourns loss of former player

Sports Editor

Former Wichita State basketball player Warren Jabali died at the age of 65 in Miami on Friday. Jabali played three seasons at WSU under coach Gary Thompson.

Jabali came to WSU as Warren Armstrong, but changed his last name to Jabali while at WSU to reflect his African roots. Jabali was a Missouri Valley Conference first-teamer all three seasons he played at WSU. He was a 6-foot-2 guard from Kansas City Central High when he came to WSU, but was an all-around player for the Shockers. Games of 25 rebounds, 30 points or 12 assists were common throughout his career.

The Oakland Oaks of the ABA selected Jabali in the 1968 ABA Draft. In his first season in the ABA Jabali won Rookie of the Year honors. After his rookie season, Jabali’s teammate, Basketball Hall of Famer Rick Barry, said, “No doubt he’s one of the best guards I’ve ever played with, or against.”

Jabali averaged 21.5 points a game as he helped guide the Oakland Oaks to the ABA Championship in the 1968-69 season.

Jabali retired from the ABA in 1975 with career averages of 17.1 points, 5.3 assists and 6.7 rebounds per game.

Jabali had a recent history of heart problems and died at home in his sleep on June 13, 2012.