Hawkeye basketball remembers former star Kenny Arnold

Hawkeye basketball legend Kenny Arnold died early on April 27 at the age of 59.

Contributed; QC Times

Contributed; QC Times

Jordan Zuniga, Sports Reporter

After 30-plus years of battling a number of health issues, former University of Iowa basketball player Kenny Arnold died on April 27.

The three-year starter was 59 years old; he is best remembered for his leadership, character, courage, determination, and poise.

“All of us in the Iowa basketball family are deeply saddened to hear the news of Kenny’s passing,” Iowa men’s basketball head coach Fran McCaffery said in a release. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Arnold family. We lost one of the most inspirational players our program has ever had. Kenny always had a smile on his face and cared most about the happiness of others. His spirit and legacy will not be forgotten.”

In 2017, Iowa introduced the Kenny Arnold Spirit Award at its postseason award ceremony, awarded to the player who best exemplifies the aforementioned traits.

Arnold wore the Black and Gold from 1979-82, helping Iowa to a Final Four appearance in 1980 and a regular-season Big Ten Championship in 1979.

He played on four NCAA Tournament teams and he finished his career 37th All-time in program history in points (1,112) and is 10th all-time in assists (352).

Arnold’s best year was his sophomore year, his first as a regular starter, when he helped lead an injury-riddled Hawkeye team to a Cinderella run to the Final Four.

Playing most of the year with a broken thumb, Arnold led his team in points per game (13.5) and assists per game (4.3) during that run.

After his Hawkeye career, Arnold was drafted 96th overall in the 1982 NBA draft by the Dallas Mavericks. Arnold’s legacy will live on through his foundation, the Kenny Arnold Foundation, that helps raise funds for cancer research and helps support others struggling with a chronic illness.