Kenny Heitz, 65, who played on three NCAA basketball championship teams at UCLA in the 1960s, died Monday at his home in Pacific Palisades after a battle with cancer, the school announced.
At a time when freshmen were not eligible to play varsity sports, he joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor), Lucius Allen and Lynn Shackelford on the 1965-66 freshman team that defeated the two-time defending national varsity champion in the first game played at Pauley Pavilion.
For the next three seasons, Heitz was a 6-foot-3 forward and guard for Coach John Wooden's varsity squad. The Bruins finished with an 88-2 record during Heitz's career and became the first school to win three consecutive titles, in 1967, '68 and '69.
A Santa Maria native, Heitz arrived at UCLA as a prep All-American center from Righetti High School in Santa Maria.
Heitz was an Academic All-American his senior year and graduated summa cum laude in 1969. Drafted by the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks, Heitz chose Harvard Law School instead and became an attorney in Los Angeles.
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