Former UConn star Toby Kimball dead at 74; played in NBA

FILE - In this Feb. 8, 1968, file photo, Toby Kimball of the San Diego Rockets puts a head lock on LeRoy Ellis (44) of the Baltimore Bullets as a referee gestures towards him before calling a foul on Kimball during a basketball game in Chicago. Toby Kimball, who starred for the University of Connecticut and played for nine seasons in the NBA, has died. He was 74. The school announced that Kimball died Tuesday, May 2, 2017, in California. (AP Photo/CWH, File)

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Toby Kimball, who starred for the University of Connecticut and played for nine seasons in the NBA, has died. He was 74.

Kimball died Tuesday at a hospital near his home in La Jolla, California, of complications from an inflammatory lung disease, his son, Tim Kimball, said Wednesday.

The 6-foot-8 forward played for UConn from 1962-65, averaging 18.4 points and 17.9 rebounds. He led the school to three Yankee Conference championships and three NCAA Tournament berths, including a regional final in 1964.

Kimball, who was from Framingham, Massachusetts, was a third-round pick of Boston in the 1965 NBA draft. After playing a year in Italy and helping his team to a European championship, he joined the Celtics, his hometown team.

He also played for San Diego, Milwaukee, Kansas City-Omaha, Philadelphia and New Orleans, averaging 6.1 points and 6.8 rebounds in 571 games before retiring in 1975.

Tim Kimball described his father as a big kid, the kind of guy who would “do a cannonball at a pool on vacation in Palm Springs to get the stuffy people on the other side wet.”

He said his father never boasted about his basketball ability, always emphasizing that it was a team game.

“He joked that he became a good rebounder because he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn door,” Tim Kimball said. “He wasn’t a shooter, but boy did he have rebounds.”

The younger Kimball said one of the greatest honors of his father’s life was having his name placed on the wall at UConn’s Gampel Pavilion in 2006 as part of the Huskies of Honor.

Kimball is survived by his wife of 50 years, Helen, whom he met at UConn, his son and two grandchildren.

Tim Kimball said his father will be laid to rest at a later date in Boston.