Fred Slaughter, who played on UCLA’s first NCAA basketball championship team under legendary coach John Wooden in 1964, has died. He was 74.
Slaughter passed away Oct. 6, surrounded by family members at his home in Santa Monica, according to school officials. His family said he died of natural causes.
Slaughter was the Bruins’ starting center from 1962 to 1964. His team soared to a 30-0 record in 1963-64, the school’s first undefeated season that also led to the first of Wooden’s historic 10 NCAA titles.
Slaughter, who was inducted into UCLA"s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004, averaged 7.9 points and 8.1 rebounds during that championship season.
On the court, he was part of the starting five that had guards Walt Hazzard and Gail Goodrich along with forwards Keith Erickson and Jack Hirsch — a lineup that ranged from 6 feet 1 to 6 feet 5. The players looked to Wooden, who devised a winning 2-2-1 zone defense known as the “Bruin Blitz.”
Slaughter excelled away from the arena, winning election to senior class president and earning a degree in business administration and an MBA from UCLA. He also attended law school at Columbia University before launching a successful career as a sports agent and attorney.
In the 1970s, he worked as assistant dean of admissions and student affairs at UCLA’s School of Law, according to officials. He also taught at UCLA’s law school and the Anderson School of Management.
In 1980, he became a full-time sports agent and attorney, representing professional basketball and football players, and also served as the labor union leader for referees in the NBA.
In 1995, the New York Times described Slaughter as the “dean of black sports attorneys.” His many clients included such Hall of Fame basketball players as UCLA great Jamaal Wilkes, Clyde Drexler and Dennis Johnson.
He is survived by his wife Kay; daughter Hilary; son Fred; and three grandchildren.