LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) — One of Kentucky’s legends, Charles “Cotton” Nash, passed away Tuesday at the age of 80.
Nash, a Hall of Famer and a three-time All-American performer, played at Kentucky from 1962-64, where he averaged 22.7 points and 12.3 rebounds per game in 78 games. Nash was a member of the baseball team and participated in track and field.
“As a three-sport competitor, Cotton Nash was one of the greatest all-around athletes ever to wear the Blue and White,” said UK athletics director Mitch Barnhart. “His accomplishments in basketball and baseball made him a rarity in American sports history. We are thankful for all he did for the University of Kentucky and our sympathies are with (wife) Julie and their family and friends.”
Following a stellar college career, he became just one of 13 players to play in Major League Baseball and the NBA. He played for the Lakers and Warriors on the hardwood and was a first baseman and outfielder for the Chicago White Sox and the Minnesota Twins, batting only 16 times in his career.
His jersey (No. 44) hangs in the rafters at Rupp Arena and he ranks ninth on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,770 points and finished his career fifth in rebounds with 962 rebounds.
Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari called it a “sad day for all in BBN.”
“Prayers to his family and friends,” Calipari said.
Nash is survived by his wife Julie, sons Patrick and J. Richey and daughter Audrey Lowry. Funeral arrangements are pending.